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Pakistan elects coalition government, struggles for solutions

On February 8, Pakistan conducted parliamentary elections, with 44 political parties contesting for 265 seats in the National Assembly. This marked the 12th general election in the country since it gained independence 76 years ago.

After the announcement of results on February 11, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif, and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, joined hands to form a government.

Neither of these parties was able to reach the majority mark.Nawaz Sharif put forth his younger brother, Shehbaz Sharif, as the nominee for the position of prime minister.

Parties and regional results

Pakistan’s National Assembly comprises 336 seats, and elections were conducted for 265 seats. The election for one seat was postponed after the death of a candidate, while the remaining seats (60 for women and 10 for minorities) were reserved for members of those groups and allocated based on the proportional representation of parties in the election results.

According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Independents supported by now-jailed Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secured 93 seats in the National Assembly. Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), headed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, attained 75 seats.

The Pakistan People’s Party led by former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari obtained 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a party based in Karachi, made a noteworthy comeback, winning 17 seats in the polls, and has pledged full support to PML-N. The remaining 26 seats were secured by others.

In the provincial elections, candidates from PML (N) won 138 seats in Punjab, while Independents backed by PTI won 116 seats.