ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday claimed that it was close to getting simple majority with the help of smaller coalition partners and independents to form the government at the centre.
On the other side, the party has geared up its efforts to win loyalties of independent members-elect of the Punjab Assembly to achieve required strength to form government in the province, which has remained a power base of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for the last many decades.
According to official results of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) until 12am on Saturday, PTI had secured 115 of the 270 seats of the National Assembly on which elections were held on July 25. Party’s total number of seats reached 116 as an independent member-elect joined it on Friday.
A statement issued by the PTI’s Central Media Department on Friday said that Saleh Muhammad, an independent member-elect from NA-13 (Mansehra), announced joining the PTI during his meeting with party chief Imran Khan in Bani Gala.
The PTI needs 137 directly elected seats to get simple majority in the National Assembly. In the House of 342 directly and indirectly members, any party needs 172 members to get simple majority. If the PTI succeeds in winning support of 137 directly elected members, its seats will automatically touch the figure of 172 after addition of reserved seats for women and minorities.
The PTI claims that it has support of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), a Sindh-based electoral alliance, which won two seats, and the Balochistan National Party (BAP), which has three seats.
Among electoral partners of the PTI, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has four seats and Sheikh Rashid’s Awami Muslim League has one seat. Thus, these four smaller partners have 10 seats.
Thus, with the help of coalition partners, the PTI has got the support of 126 members. To get simple majority, PTI now requires another 11 seats and PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry is hopeful that it would get the simple majority with the help of independents. A total of 13 independent MNAs are elected so far.
To get the support of more members, senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen on Friday contacted MQM-Pakistan leadership and both sides have decided to hold meetings to discuss the possible alliance at the Centre. MQM-P has six MNAs.
Addressing a press conference, PTI Information Secretary Fawad Chaudhry has said the party leadership is in contact with independent MNAs and majority of them would join the PTI soon.
“There are six independents who were fully supported by the PTI in their respective constituencies and there exists an understanding that they will join PTI after winning elections,” Fawad Chaudhry said.
Chaudhry said the PTI was in a comfortable position to claim majority and form the next federal government. He said that coalition partners will be given their due share in the next federal cabinet.
The PTI spokesperson said his party had so far contacted 21 independent members-elect of the Punjab Assembly and majority of them are willing to join the PTI. He said the PTI was hopeful to get support of majority of independents from Punjab. He also said the PTI would not give the slot of chief minister in Punjab to allied parties; rather a PTI MPA will be nominated for the slot.
Responding to a question, he ruled out the possibility that PTI will seek support of the PPP in Punjab or in the centre. He said that international observers had declared the election free and fair and the PTI was ready to launch any probe into alleged rigging.
A meeting of the senior leadership of the PTI was held in Bani Gala on Friday in a bid to analyse the situation arising out of the election results of Punjab Assembly.
The PTI is eyeing 29 independent MPAs-elect of Punjab Assembly and Jahangir Khan Tareen has been given the task to win loyalties of these members.
According to election results, PML-N is leading in Punjab with 127 seats, followed by PTI with 123 seats, out of the total 279 provincial assembly seats.
Sources in the PTI said that a group of 15 MPAs from Punjab is expected to join the party on Saturday (today).
The PTI has an edge over the PML-N in the province as its allied party in the centre, PML-Q, has won seven seats in the province.
Tareen on Friday evening embarked on a visit to Faisalabad and southern Punjab to win support of some of the independent MPAs-elect of the Punjab Assembly.
Close to winning simple majority in NA, claims PTI