QUETTA: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has strengthened its position as the single largest party in Balochistan on Monday, with a total of 13 seats in the 51-member house after three independent MPAs-elect joined it.

Three independent MPAs-elect who announced their joining the PPP were: Asfandyar Kakar, Mir Liaquat Ali Lehri and Maulana Noorullah. Mr Noorullah defeated JUI-F provincial chief Maulana Abdul Wasey in Qila Saifullah election.

Asfandyar Kakar is a former minister who was once elected an MPA on the PPP ticket while Mr Lehri was in the PPP, but contested the polls as an independent candidate and won it, after the PPP did not give him the party ticket.

PPP sources claimed that one more independent MPA would join the PPP within a day.

PML-N also claims right to form govt

The PPP is yet two finalise the name of its candidate for the top slot who will lead the next Balochistan government.

Sources said the PPP high command discussed the formation of a coalition government in Balochistan with the party’s MPAs at a meeting held in Islamabad.

Three names were discussed for the top slot of the coalition government. They were: Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, Mir Sarfraz Bugti and Zahoor Buledi.

‘N’ still claims to form govt

However, the Balochistan chief of PML-N, Shiekh Jaffar Khan Mandokhail, has claimed that as the ‘single majority’ party in Balochistan, it is the PML-N’s right to form a coalition government in the province and efforts are under way in this regard.

Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, he said: “We want the PPP to be our ally in the coalition government.”

He claimed that in Balochistan, the PML-N is the largest parliamentary party in terms of MPAs’ strength, and whatever decision is made by the central leadership and parliamentary group regarding government formation, we will accept it.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2024

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