PML-N to sit in opposition if PTI-backed independents form govt: Shehbaz

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Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said that his party will gladly sit in the opposition if PTI-backed independent candidates show majority and form a government in the Centre, ARY News reported.

“If PTI-sponsored independent candidates can show a majority, then we will gladly sit in opposition benches and play our constitutional role,” the former prime minister said while addressing a press conference in Lahore.

However, Shehbaz Sharif said, if they fail to form government then then other political parties have the right to form a government – which according to him is the “legal and democratic way to do things”.

He pointed out that PML-N had emerged as the “biggest political party” after the February 8 general elections.

He acknowledged that independent candidates had garnered more votes, saying that if one counts independent candidates, then obviously their number is greater. “You cannot dispute the facts. But in political parties, the PML-N is number one”, he added.

The PML-N president said that since the results of the elections had been released, it was now time to move onto to the next phase. He urged political forces to put their differences aside and join hands to help tackle the challenges, being faced by Pakistan.

Despite PML-N failing to secure a majority in the elections, Shehbaz Sharif said Nawaz Sharif is still the party s candidate for prime minister s slot. “I am still standing by my words that Nawaz Sharif will become the prime minister for the fourth time,” he added.

Read More: Nawaz Sharif should not become prime minister, opines Javed Latif

Meanwhile, the former premier also rejected the allegations related to rigging during Feb 8 polls and recalled that his party members faced intimidation and false cases during the tenure of Imran Khan-led government.

He said that on election night, on the basis of a mere 10-12 per cent of results, independents were declared winners, which was inappropriate . “On one hand there are allegations of rigging but then independents are winning and we are losing. This is contradictory,” he added.

Responding to a question regarding a new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he reiterated that Pakistan would have to go for another IMF package and without delay, whether [it is] a coalition or some other arrangement.”

Voting took place on 51 seats of the Balochistan Assembly, 128 out of 130 seats of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 296 out of 297 seats of the Punjab Assembly, and 130 seats of the Sindh Assembly.

PTI-backed Independent candidates consolidated their lead in the general elections 2024 over mainstream political parties, especially in the National and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assemblies, throughout the result announcement process.

Read More: Elections 2024 Pakistan results: PTI-backed IND candidates lead in NA

According to the results announced so far, independent candidates have managed to win 101 seats. It is worth mentioning that out of these 101 independent candidates, 92 are supported by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf while nine are general independent candidates.

PML-N is in the second position with 75 seats, while the PPP has won 54 seats. The MQM-P won in 17 constituencies, JUI-F in four, PML-Q in three, while IPP and BNP won two seats each.

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