ISLAMABAD  -  After struggling day in and day out since the July 25 victory, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Friday managed to cross the magical figure of 172 required to get a simple majority in the 342-member National Assembly.

PTI that has emerged as the single largest party in the 2018 General Election has finally managed to get a simple majority with the help of five smaller coalition partners and nine independently elected members of the National Assembly who have joined the party so far.

With the help of smaller coalition partners including Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and Awami Muslim League (AML), the total tally of PTI-led coalition has reached 174.

PTI hopes that the total strength of PTI-led coalition will touch the figure of 180 at the time of election of prime minister as four remaining independents out of the total 13 members-elect of the National Assembly have also assured it to vote for Imran Khan in the election of the prime minister.

While talking to reporters in Bani Gala, PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that till PTI would have the support of 180 MNAs on the day of election of PM’s election.  Talking on the occasion, senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen said his party was also in negotiations with the Blochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) who had three seats of NA and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) who has one seat of NA.

According to provisional results of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP), the PTI has secured 116 seats while nine independent members-elect of the National Assembly have so far joined it. Among nine, six are from Punjab and one each from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan. Thus PTI has a total number of 125 seats.

On the basis of 125 seats, PTI will be able to get around 26 reserved seats for women in the National Assembly including 15 from Punjab, seven from KP and four from Sindh. The PTI will also get some four seats reserved for minorities in NA and thus making the total strength of the party 155 seats.

 

Among its coalition partners, MQM-P has six seats, PML-Q and BAP have four seats each, GDA two, and Awami Muslim League has one seat in NA  making the total number of 17 general seats. With the inclusion of two seats for women, the coalition partners will have total of 19 seats.

Thus 155 seats of PTI and 19 seats of its smaller coalition partners, the total tally of seats in NA will reach 174 crossing the magical figure of simple majority.

Jahangir Khan Tareen told reporters that that PTI was in contact with two independent MNAs from old tribal areas and one from Sindh.

Members elected on more than one NA seats:

On the day of voting for the election of the next prime minister, the 174 number of seas of PTI-led collation will again reduce to 167 as all those MNAs-elect belonging to PTI-led ruling coalition who have won on more than one NA seats will have to retain only one seat and vacate the other ones. However, it can reach a simple majority if it gets the support of BNP-Mengal, JWP and four independent members-elect.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan will have to vacate four seats while other MNAs-elect including Pervaiz Elahi, Major (retd) Tahir Sadiq and Ghulam Sarwar Khan will vacate one seat each. If PML-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi chose to retain his Punjab Assembly seat to become the Speaker, he will vacate his both seats of NA and thus the figure of vacated seats will reach eight.

Article 91 of the Constitution describes says that “the Prime Minister shall be elected by the votes of the majority of the total membership of the National Assembly.” The total membership of the National Assembly is 342 and simple majority can be attained by securing the support of 172 MNAs.

However, it does not mean that if one fails to get a simple majority, he or she cannot become the prime minister.

 

The Article 91 also describes: “Provided that, if no member secures such majority in the first poll, a second poll shall be held between the members who secure the two highest numbers of votes in the first poll and the member who secures a majority of votes of the members present and voting shall be declared to have been elected as Prime Minister”.

PTI is in an easy position to form a government in Punjab after the inclusion of 22 MPAs-elect from the province. Though Tareen in the media talk claimed that 25 MPAs-elect have joined PTI, yet the official figures released by the party show that it has the support of 22 MPAs-elect of Punjab Assembly.

According to ECP results, PTI in the Punjab Assembly being the second largest party has secured 123 seats and after joining of 22 MPAs-elect, the party’s tally reaches 145. With the addition of eight seats of PML-Q and one seat of BAP, PTI-led coalition in Punjab Assembly reaches total strength of 154 while 149 MPAs required in the house to get the simple majority. PML-Q has got seven seats in the July 25 election while later one independent MPA-elect had joined it.

 

PTI crosses magical figure of 172 seats

IMRAN MUKHTAR