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Wednesday February 28, 2024

Ready to sit in opposition if PTI shows majority in NA, says Shehbaz Sharif

PML-N president says PTI should form government in Centre if it has required number of seats

By Web Desk
February 13, 2024

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif is addressing a press conference in Islamabad in this still taken from a video on February 13, 2024. — YouTube/Geo News
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif is addressing a press conference in Islamabad in this still taken from a video on February 13, 2024. — YouTube/Geo News

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has said that his party is ready to sit on opposition benches if Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed independent candidates showed their majority in the National Assembly.  

“If PTI-sponsored candidates can show majority [in the National Assembly] then they are welcome to form a government,” he said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The PML-N president said his party is ready to sit in opposition if PTI-backed candidates can establish their majority in the lower house of parliament.

"We will accept them [PTI government] happily if they fail to [form government] then we will use our Constitutional and legal right," the PML-N president said.

He said the PML-N has a majority in Punjab and his party is the largest in Centre in terms of party.

"We now have 80 members after independents joined our party," he said adding that more independent lawmakers will join the PML-N in the coming days.

Despite PML-N failing to secure a majority in the elections, Shehbaz said supremo Nawaz Sharif is still the party’s candidate for the post of prime minister.

“I am still standing by [my words] that Nawaz Sharif will become the prime minister for the fourth time,” he added.

The PML-N president said his party will invite everyone to form a coalition government in the Centre.

“We have to move forward together in the country's larger interest.”

Shehbaz's presser comes as questions are being raised over the transparency of the February 8 elections marred by allegations of rigging and irregularities after the results suffered inordinate delay and mobile services remained suspended on the polling day.

Several political parties mainly Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) are holding sporadic protests across the country against alleged rigging in favour of the opponent candidates.

Independent candidates belonging to Imran Khan-led PTI are in the lead with 92 seats, followed by PML-N (79) and PPP (53).

Shehbaz, in today's presser, rejected the allegations that the polls were manipulated in favour of his party and recalled that his party members faced intimidation and false cases during the tenure of Imran Khan-led government.

‘New IMF package inevitable’

The PML-N chief said Pakistan is facing the biggest challenges in its history today and called for making sacrifices in the country’s interest.

To a question about the power-sharing formula between the PPP and PML-N, Shehbaz said a consultation process is underway for the formation of government.

Despite having the majority, Shehbaz said the PML-N supremo decided to hold consultations with key political players.

“It is not about forming government...it is the time to save Pakistan and then put the [country on the path] of development.”

Shehbaz said his party accepted the public mandate.

“New government will have to go to IMF [International Monetary Fund] for another bailout package.”