Who will form government in Punjab? The number game, independents and the forward bloc
LAHORE – The party position for the Punjab Assembly has become clear, two days after Pakistan concluded its 11th General Elections, with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf clearly in a position to form a government but with a little effort.
According to the statistics released by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the results for as many as 294 seats of the provincial assembly are out with Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz leading the race by securing 127 seats.
The second party in line is Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf which has secured 122 seats of the provincial assembly.
The independent candidates fall third in the race who have gained 29 seats becoming the swing factor in the elections.
Pakistan Muslim League has defeated the opponents on 7 seats of the contest for the provincial assembly with Pakistan Peoples Party garnering 6 seats.
Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Pakistan Awami Raj secured single seat of the assembly that represents over 110 million. Who can Form the Government?
Although PML-N is leading the race in Punjab, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf can easily form the government in the province primarily due to the fact that the party is all set to form a government in the centre.
As PTI is sure to take over the reins of government at the federal level, the independent candidates must be in an easy position to side with it at the provincial level so as not to have any clash with the centre in five years down the road.
However, the possibility of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz luring in independents cannot be ruled out as the party is well experienced in attracting the all-powerful legislators.
In any case, the independents would be deciding whether to award the government to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or to go with Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz for another five years, stirring a nail-biting contest in the province. Any Forward Block?
Another factor, which can altogether change the political landscape is the formation of any forward block. If sizeable legislator (generally over 48) side with any political party, the said party will be able to form a government in Punjab.
Though no sure shot prediction can be made in this regard, a political stroke can be played by the former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who can become the leader of the forward block and can attract lawmakers from PMLN to pledge allegiance to PTI.
The next week is crucial as PTI and PMLN would be having a cut throat competition in Punjab.