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Wednesday February 28, 2024

Nawaz Sharif rules out possibility of forming coalition govt

"We rendered sacrifices to witness day where we are today," says PML-N supremo

By Web Desk
February 08, 2024

LAHORE: Ruling out the possibility of forming a coalition government, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif Thursday urged voters to give him a clear majority in the National Assembly.

The three-time prime minister made these comments today after casting his vote in the provincial capital today along with his daughter and party's Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz.

He was accompanied by Istehkam-i-Pakistan Party (IPP) leader Awn Chaudhry.

Nawaz, who is contesting from NA-130, urged the masses to come out and vote as the country needs a one-party majority to bring stability.

"We rendered sacrifices to witness the day where we are today. We have to end this culture of abuse and indecency."

The PML-N leader — eyeing a record fourth term in the 2024 polls — hoped that the polls would bring prosperity to the country which is facing grave economic and security challenges.

When asked to comment on the formation of a government after the elections and what would be his priority, Nawaz said a party must get the majority to rule independently without dependence on others.

"For God's sake! Don't talk about a coalition government. One-party majority is crucial for the country."

Taking a jibe indirectly at his rival Imran Khan's party, he said the country needs a healing touch.

He also highlighted the sacrifices of party leaders including Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Hamza Shehbaz, saying they also spent time in jail.

Challenges after polls

If the Pakistan election does not result in a clear majority for anyone, as analysts are predicting, tackling multiple challenges will be tricky — the foremost being seeking a new bailout program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the current one expires in March.

Unofficial first results are expected a few hours after voting closes at 5pm and a clear picture is likely to emerge early on Friday.

Smaller political parties could play a crucial role in the formation of a government that will need 169 seats in the 336-member National Assembly. Voters directly elect 266 members while there are 70 reserved seats — 60 for women and 10 for non-Muslims — allotted according to the number of seats won by each party.

Independents, many of whom are being backed by PTI founder Imran Khan, are free to join any party if they win, which could swing fortunes after the vote. Khan has said his candidates will not back Nawaz or Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari