Crisis looms in Pakistan


Asianbangla Desk : The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has notified the final results of the general election but withheld results of nine national and 17 provincial assembly seats for various reasons, stirring a new controversy before the formation of the next government.

The strength of the Pakis­tan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the National Assembly has gone down from 116 to 112 for now and its ally Balochistan Awami Party from four to three.

The nine NA constituencies where the results have been withheld include NA-53 (Islamabad) and NA-131 (Lahore) from where prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan had defeated former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, respectively.

The development related to the issuance of condition notifications of Khan’s victory generated a debate on whether he would be able to form a government at the Centre.

In all, the PTI had won on four out of the nine NA seats where the results have been put on hold. Three of the nine seats had been claimed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and one each by the Pakistan Peoples Party and the BAP.

This has reduced the strength of the PTI in the NA to 112, followed by the PML-N (61) and the PPP (42). The strength of the BAP has gone down to three.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties yesterday held their first protest demonstration against alleged rigging in the July 25 general elections outside the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad.

The decision to hold the protest was made by the newly formed 11-party grand opposition alliance, named ‘Pakistan Alliance for Free and Fair Elections’, at a multi-party conference held in Islamabad on Friday.

Besides the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the opposition alliance comprises Awami National Party (ANP), Qaumi Watan Party (QWP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), National Party (NP) and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA).

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, who arrived after the protest had been going on for a few hours, said: “The only reason why all political parties have joined hands today is because the ECP failed to conduct free and fair elections.”

PPP’s Sherry Rehman and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani were among the leaders who took part in the protest.

The leaders have also decided to register a strong protest inside and outside parliament during the first sitting of the National Assembly, which according to Caretaker Information Minister Barrister Ali Zafar would be called between August 12-14.



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