Nawaz Sharif Selected Third time Prime Minister of Pakistan
Nawaz Sharif selected Pakistan’s Prime Minister as his PML-N party took an unassailable lead over its rivals in landmark general elections that witnessed a huge turnout despite Taliban threats and bomb attacks.
Trends from 264 of the 272 parliamentary seats that went to the polls showed that the PML-N was set to bag in excess of 125 seats, while Imran Khan’s Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Pakistan People’s Party were lagging far behind with 34 and 32 seats, respectively.
The PML-N was returned to power at the national level after millions of Pakistanis braved Taliban threats and violence that claimed some 50 lives to vote in the landmark general election that marked the first transition from one civilian government to another in the country’s 66-year history.
Nawaz Sharif proclaimed victory for the PML-N while addressing a group of jubilant supporters at his home in Lahore last night and asked people to pray that the final results would deliver an “absolute majority” for his party so that he would not have to lead a weak coalition.
“The results are still coming in but we almost have confirmation about one thing, that the PML-N has emerged the largest party in this election. I ask you to pray that the results that come in the morning will show that the PML-N can form government without outside support, so that the PML-N doesn’t have to seek support from anyone,” he said.
The PML-N’s strong performance will make it possible for Sharif to form government at the centre with the backing of independent candidates and smaller rightist parties like the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam which was leading in 11 seats.
Analysts said it was possible that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, leading in 12 seats, could back the PML-N.
To win a simple majority, a party or coalition would have to bag 137 of the 272 National Assembly seats for which polls were held.
Another 70 seats, reserved for women and non-Muslims, will be allocated to parties according to their performance in polls.
To have a majority 342-member National Assembly, a party or coalition would need 172 seats.
The PML-N was also set to form government in the most populous province of Punjab, where it was leading in 188 seats out of 297 seats in the provincial assembly.