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Will PTI be able to form the government in Punjab?

The Imran Khan-led PTI emerged as the biggest party after the 2018 elections. The party is all set to form the governments in the Centre as well as in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it got the most seats in these two houses. In Punjab, the story is slightly different. While the PTI has emerged as the...

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 28, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jul 28, 2018 | Last Updated: 3 years ago

Supporters of Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), wave a party flag as they celebrate during the general election in Rawalpindi July 25, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Imran Khan-led PTI emerged as the biggest party after the 2018 elections. The party is all set to form the governments in the Centre as well as in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as it got the most seats in these two houses.

In Punjab, the story is slightly different. While the PTI has emerged as the second largest party in the province with 123 seats, PML-N is still the hot favourite to form the government. The PML-N, which has been ruling the Punjab for the last 10 years, has 129 seats in the provincial assembly.

To form the government in the province, a party needs 149 seats. With 28 independent being elected, it is any party’s game.

Post-election, many independent candidates happily join the mainstream political parties they rejected during their campaigns. According to SAMAA Digital’s analysis carried out using ECP data, over 87.5% of elected independent candidates in Punjab joined mainstream political parties between 2008 and 2013.

Read: Independent candidates and their tendency to become not-so-independent

After PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz announced on Friday that the party will form the government in the province, the PTI sprang into action.

PTI leaders Jahangir Tareen and Aleem Khan met two independent candidates, Muhammad Hanif and Muhammad Salman, who got elected on Punjab Assembly seats and invited them to join the PTI. Salman and Hanif were elected from PP-217 and PP-289 respectively.

Both candidates said they would decide after considering the offer.

However, they are not only players in this game. Salman revealed that he has already been approached by Hamza, who has offered to fly him to Lahore on a chartered plane to meet PML-N leadership.

Another independent candidate, Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi, who got elected from PP-204 Khanewal, announced on Saturday that he is joining the PTI.

The PML-Q, which has seven seats in the Punjab Assembly, will also play a crucial role in the formation of the government. The PTI and PML-Q had adjusted seats during the elections and did not field candidates against each other.

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