QUETTA: The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) — which has emerged as the single largest party in the July 25 elections after winning 15 provincial assembly seats — on Monday succeeded in mustering the support of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Awami) for formation of a coalition government in the province.

The BNP-Awami has won two seats in the elections. The Awami National Party (ANP) and Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) have already announced their support for BAP for the formation of the coalition government.

With the support of these three parties and joining of three independents, the total strength of BAP reached 25 in the 65-member Balochistan Assembly.

However, BAP has not yet nominated anyone for the post of the chief minister. Sources said that within the party three candidates were vying for the top slot. Political circles are suggesting three names — Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali and Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo — for the top post.

Jam Kamal and other members of the BAP negotiation committee, including the party’s founder Saeed Ahmed Hashmi, are meeting leaders of the parties having representation in the Balochistan Assembly.

“We are contacting all political parties for bringing a consensus coalition government,” a senior BAP leader told Dawn. He said the committee members had an important meeting with Balochistan president of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind at his residence.

The PTI has five members in the provincial assembly.

The sources said both sides had discussed the formation of a coalition government in Balochistan. They said the PTI asked for the office of chief minister, but so far there had been no consensus between the two parties in this regard.

BAP president Jam Kamal and members of the negotiation committee also met Sardar Akhtar Mengal, president of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal), to seek his support for the formation of a coalition government in the province.

Meanwhile, Sardar Mengal presided over a meeting of the party’s central committee which discussed the issue of coalition government.

The sources said the BNP-Mengal was also interested in the post of chief minister. Sardar Mengal had already announced the formation of the next government in the province with the consultation of like-minded parties with whom he had made seat adjustment and election alliance. The BNP-Mengal had entered into an alliance with the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) in Khuzdar and made seat adjustment with the ANP and HDP in Quetta.

Published in Dawn, July 31st, 2018

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