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2 major parties reach power sharing deal to form next gov't in Pakistan

2 major parties reach power sharing deal to form next gov't in Pakistan

 
- Shehbaz Sharif nominated as prime minister while Asif Ali Zardari will be candidate for presidency
 

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD (AA) - After week-long negotiations, two political parties in Pakistan agreed on a power-sharing deal to form the next government.

Announcing the deal, former Foreign Minister and Chairman of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that his party will support former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as candidate for prime minister.

"Our negotiation teams have reached consensus and the numbers of Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have been completed and now we are in a position to form a federal government," he told reporters during a news conference late Tuesday night.

His father and former President Asif Ali Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif accompanied Bilawal.

Bilawal added that the PML-N would support Asif Ali Zardari for president.

He did not give further details about key portfolios in the government.

To form a government with a simple majority, a party requires 134 direct seats, which can be counted as 169 MPs after allocating members to reserved seats for women and religious minorities in the National Assembly.

Although independent candidates backed by jailed ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won 93 seats, the highest number of MPs, the party could not form a coalition with other parties to reach a simple majority.

The PTI on Monday announced that its affiliated independent candidates will merge into the Sunni Ittehad Council, a small religiopolitical party, in the National and provincial assemblies to get its share in reserve seats of women and minorities.

On Tuesday, Khan said the "mother of all rigging" took place in the Feb. 8 general elections and demanded that "the real mandate and will of the public should be honored."

In a message through her sister Aleema Khan, who met him at Adiala jail in the northeastern garrison city of Rawalpindi on Tuesday, Khan said that X was blocked in the country to “hide the real results.”

The social media platform has remained restricted in Pakistan since Saturday night. The country's telecommunication regulator has offered no reason for the restriction.

 
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