The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has claimed that it has the support of a sufficient number of lawmakers to form governments in both the Centre and Punjab.
Party spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry, while addressing the media on Monday evening, claimed that the party had secured the backing of 168 out of the nearly 328-330 lawmakers returned to the National Assembly in the July 25 election (after counting the allocation of reserved seats).
Out of the house of 342, Chaudhry noted that around 10 seats would be vacated by candidates successful from more than one constituency, and that the remaining two seats had had their elections postponed.
The numbers are to be secured with the help of independents (seven seats), MQM-Pakistan (six seats), PML-Q (four seats), the Balochistan Awami Party (two seats) and the Grand Democratic Alliance (two seats).
The PML-Q has declared its support after settling on a "formula" with PTI, under which it will be given ministries in the centre and Punjab. Talks with MQM-Pakistan are still ongoing, Chaudhry said. Jahangir Tareen is headed to Karachi to negotiate terms.
The PTI has also claimed it has the numbers to form the Punjab government, and that the chief minister will be from the PTI.
For a simple majority, one needs the support of at least 149 directly elected MPAs out of 297 general members to form government in the largest province of the country in terms of population.
The breakdown of the party's lead in Punjab is not clear as yet, but the party claims the support of 180 lawmakers, including reserved seats.
Earlier, in a meeting with PTI chairman Imran Khan, MPAs-elect Saeed Akbar Niwani from PP-90 Bhakkar, Ameer Muhammad Khan from PP-89 Bhakkar and Fida Wattoo from Bahawalnagar had announced they would lend their support for the PTI, a press release by the party's Central Media Department said.
Abdul Hai Dasti from PP-270 Muzaffargarh, who had announced his support for PTI on Sunday also met Khan.
After the July 25 vote, the PML-N has emerged as the single-largest party in the Punjab Assembly with 129 seats, while the PTI has a tally of 123. The PML-Q has eight MPAs after the joining of an independent member, while the PPP has six. There are 28 independents in all.
The PML-N claims support of nine independent candidates, but has not made their names public. Its efforts to woo the PPP and PML-Q are proving futile. It had assigned National Assembly former speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq the task of persuading the ‘Q’ leadership to support ‘N’ in the race for the chief minister’s office.
The PTI leadership claims it is closing in on its goal of 149 seats in the Punjab Assembly. It has so far mustered the support of 13 independents, taking its tally to 136 — seven more than the PML-N’s total. Four independents joined the party on Saturday and six others on Sunday.
Expecting to rope in 10 more independents in the next two days and with the support of PML-Q’s eight seats, the PTI leaders had been tweeting “Game over for PML-N”.
Meanwhile, the PTI also managed to garner the support of two independent Members of National Assembly-elects. MNAs-elect Sanaullah Mastikhel from Bhakkar and Ghaffar Wattoo from Bahawalnagar announced joining the party after calling on Imran Khan. PTI’s senior leader Jahangir Khan Tareen was present at the meeting.
According to the press release, the PTI chairman welcomed the MNAs and MPAs-elect into the party.
As per figures provided by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the PTI has emerged as the largest political party in the country, winning 115 of the 270 National Assembly seats on which the elections were held. The party, however, is short of the 137 needed for simple majority even.
PTI leadership has now decided to reach out to other smaller groups and independents since the party has already declared that it will not join hands with the PPP and the PML-N. There are 13 independents who have won NA seats, and PTI claims to have the support of at least three of them.