QUETTA: The PPP has become the single largest party in Balochistan with 17 seats in the provincial assembly, while the PML-N secured the second position, winning 16 seats in the February 8 elections.

In an official notification issued on Saturday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) released the party positions in the Balochistan Assembly, stating that the PPP is the majority party with 17 seats while the PML-N is in second position, securing 16 seats. The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) has obtained 12 seats, the notification said.

Sources said that the PPP is also enjoying the support of an independent MPA, Molvi Noorullah, who was elected from Qila Saifullah. In 2018, he was elected as an MPA from the same constituency on the ticket of JUI-F. However, he was later expelled from the party by JUI-F provincial Emir Maulana Abdul Wasey due to differences during local bodies elections. Maulana Wasey lost the election against Molvi Noorullah in the Feb 8 elections.

Zardari, Shehbaz separately meet lawmakers-elect

The Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) secured five seats, the National Party (NP) got four seats, and the Awami National Party won three seats. Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal), and BNP Awami also secured one seat each. One independent member has been elected to the assembly, and the final announcement for three general seats is pending.

The total number of members in the assembly is 65, with 33 seats required for forming a majority government in the province. However, no political party has 33 members to form a government, and in view of this situation, a coalition government will be formed, as has been the case since Balochistan was given the status of a province in 1970.

Sources said that negotiations are underway between PML-N and PPP leadership for forming a PPP-led coalition government with the support of five members of the BAP. “Some more parties that obtained seats in the Balochistan Assembly may join the coalition government, except JUI-F, which will sit in the opposition,” they said.

Meetings

Separately, the MPAs-elect from Balochistan called on former President Asif Ali Zardari at his Islamabad residence on Saturday to discuss the formation of government in the province.

Similarly, the MNAs and MPAs-elect from Balochistan on the PML-N ticket held a meeting with the party president Shehbaz Sharif on Satur­day.

The delegation was headed by PML-N’s provincial president Jaffar Khan Mandokhel.

Four independents — Mir Asim Kurd, Wali Muhammad, retired Capt Abdul Khaliq, and Barkat Ali Rind — who recently joined PML-N were also present on the occasion.

They discussed the process of the formation of the provincial government.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2024

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