ISLAMABAD/LAHORE - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Monday claimed it has got sufficient support to form its governments both at the Centre and in Punjab, as a few more independents joined it the same day.

Addressing the media in the evening, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said they had secured the backing of 168 out of the nearly 328-330 lawmakers.

The National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members and Fawad gave his estimation by including the reserved seats and vacation of around ten seats by the members, who have won in multiple constituencies. Election on two national seats have been postponed.

The PML-Q (having four MNAs and Eight Punjab MPAs) has declared its support after settling on a “formula” with PTI, under which it will be given ministries in both in the federal and Punjab governments.

Giving the break-up of total members, Chaudhry said the PTI would get a total of 144 NA seats, including that of seats reserved for women and minorities.

Among the coalition partners, he said that PML-Q has four NA seats, the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) would have eight seats after inclusion of reserved seats, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) have two seats each. He further said that seven independents have joined the PTI.

“So we are touching the figure of 168 out of 330 member house. It means that we have a clear majority of in the house and we are ahead of any party in the National Assembly,” he said.

Fawad said that talks with MQM-Pakistan were ongoing and Jahangir Tareen is headed to Karachi to negotiate the terms.

Later at night, the MQM-P announced to support the PTI after meeting with Tareen.

The PTI coalition has to vacate seven seats because of victory at multiple seats, bringing the total down to 160.

What if PTI fails to secure

simple majority?

Article 91 of the Constitution says that “if no member secures the magic 172 votes for the election of Prime Minister, then there will be a run-off election between the two highest vote winners and who will secure majority of votes out of the members present in the house would be declared as the “Prime Minister of Pakistan.”

Punjab situation

The PTI on Monday reiterated that it will form government in the Punjab and the chief minister will be from its own ranks.

At least 149 directly elected MPAs out of 297 general members are required for a simple majority in the Punjab Assembly.

The PML-N had emerged as the single-largest party in the Punjab Assembly with 129 seats, while the PTI secured 123. The PTI however is closing in on the magic number of 149 (excluding reserved seats) as it has already secured the support of 14 independents, taking its tally to 137 — seven more than the PML-N’s total.

The total count of PTI’s seats in the provincial assembly will reach 140 by tonight, Fawad Chaudhry claimed in his media talk. Including the eight MPAs of its ally PML-Q, the tally will reach to 148. Fawad said they were in contact with other independent candidates in Punjab and four more were set to join them.

The PTI spokesperson said that the party had the support of 180 members-elect in the Punjab Assembly, including independents and reserved seats, out of the present strength of 358 members of the 360-member house.



PML-N failure

On the other hand, the PML-N also claimed support of nine independent candidates but it failed to give their names. Its efforts to woo the PPP (having six members) and PML-Q are also proving futile.

After months-long exchange of accusations, the PML-N also approached party dissident Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, seeking his support to form the government in Punjab. A private news channel claimed that Nisar has assured of his support.

The veteran PML-N politician, who has been a member of the lower house of the parliament since 1985, contested elections as an independent candidate from two NA seats – NA-59 and NA-60 – and two provincial seats – PP-10 and PP- 12. But he faced a surprising defeat from all seats except PP-10.

PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah approached independent MPA-elects Maulana Muavia Azam and Taimur Bhatti but he failed to woo them.

Earlier, MPA-elect from Okara, Jugnu Mohsin held a meeting with PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif.



New PTI entrants

A statement issued by PTI on Monday said that more independent members of the Punjab Assembly and National Assembly have formally joined the PTI followed by a meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

MNA-elect from district Bhakkar Sanaullah Mastikhel and MPAs-elected from the same district Syed Akbar Nowani and Ameer Mohammad Khan joined PTI ranks. Moreover, MNA-elect from district Bhawalnagar Ghaffar Watto and MPA-elect from the same area Fida Watto also announced to join the PTI.

Similarly, MN-elect from district Muzaffargarh Basit Bukhari and MPAs-elect from the same area Abdul Hai Dasti and Khurram Khan Leghari Muzzaffargarh also joined PTI ranks.



KP and Balochistan

Fawad said that PTI would form a coalition government in Balochistan and negotiations were at a final stage in this regard.

“In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, we are having a two-thirds majority,” he said.

About finalisation of names of chief ministers of Punjab and KP, he said that PTI Chairman Imran Khan would decide the names.



Oath taking

Responding to a question whether Khan was taking the oath of the PM on August 11, Chaudhry said that the PTI was not sure when Khan would take the oath of the prime minister.

He said that summoning of the National Assembly session was the prerogative of President Mamnoon Hussain on the advice of the caretaker government. “So we cannot say that when Khan will take the oath of his office.”

He said that the legal position was that members would submit their details of election expenses to the Election Commission for a formal notification of their victory and then National Assembly session would be summoned.




Meeting with PML-Q leadership

Chaudhry said that PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujjat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi along with a delegation met with the PTI leadership in Bani Gala. “The PML-Q has decided that it will be the collation partner of the PTI in the federal and Punjab governments,” he said. He said that the leadership of both the parties had agreed on a power-sharing formula and the PML-Q would be given its due share in the cabinets of federal and Punjab governments. “But the chief minister Punjab would be of the PTI and Imran Khan will decide the name of the next CM of the province.” He said that the PTI would give due representation in the federal and Punjab cabinets to its allies.

Responding to a question whether Elahi would be given the slot of the deputy prime minister, he said that there was no provision of deputy prime minister’s slot in the Constitution.

Meeting with MQM:

Chaudhry informed reporters that senior party leader Jehangir Tareen was leaving for Karachi on Monday evening to meet the MQM-P leadership who has six NA seats



PTI hits bull’s eye