QUETTA: Even though all other provinces have their new administrations in place, the Balochistan cabinet has yet to be for­m­ed, despite the election of PPP’s Mir Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti as the leader of house almost a month ago.

Mr Bugti, who took oath as the chief minister on March 2, had hinted that the cabinet would be in place after the Senate elections and ministers sworn in on April 4.

The process of Senate elections has been completed and all 11 senators from Balochistan have been elected unopposed.

It was being expected that coalition partners will choose the cabinet with consensus the same way as they lent support to the candidates for Senate.

CM Bugti and leaders of other coalition parties held several meetings to finalise the names of ministers and advisors. The CM also called on PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari to seek his approval for the party’s candidates for ministries.

As a result of these deliberations, sources claimed, things had almost been finalised among coalition partners and the cabinet was scheduled to take oath on April 4, but Mr Bugti had to suddenly fly abroad because of the illness of his elder brother.

The newly appointed spokesman for the Baloc­histan government, Sha­hid Rind confirmed on Thursday that matters regarding cabinet formation have been settled between the coalition parties, but the annou­ncement was delayed due to the chief minister’s trip.

The process will be completed after the CM’s return, he said Mr Rind also claimed that one more party might join the coalition, currently comprising PPP, PML-N, Balochistan Awami Party and Awami National Party.

Sources have said that as per the power-sharing formula, PPP and PML-N would be the main shareholders while other parties would also get some share in the cabinet.

“Now, the parties will choose MPAs for the posts of ministers and advisors,” a senior PPP leader told Dawn.

However, PML-N suffered a setback as it lost slot of the speaker when retired captain Abdul Khaliq Achakzai was deseated after ECP cancelled the notification of his victory from PB-51 Chaman.

Accepting petitions of his three rivals, Muhammad Asghar Achakzai of ANP, Abaseen Achakzai of PkMAP and Muhammad Nawaz of JUI-F, the ECP has ordered re-polling in 12 polling stations.

The result of 12 polling stations was cancelled after the ECP observed an unusual pattern of voting.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2024

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