Supporters of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party block the Peshawar-Islambad highway as they protest against the alleged skewing in Pakistan's national election results in Peshawar on February 12, 2024.
Supporters of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party block the Peshawar-Islambad highway as they protest against the alleged skewing in Pakistan's national election results in Peshawar on February 12, 2024.Photo | AFP

Imran Khan's party says its mandate has been 'stolen in dark of night'

Despite being forced to contest as independents, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf-backed candidates clinched a surprise victory, securing 92 seats in Pakistan's 266-member National Assembly.

ISLAMABAD: Jailed former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's party on Wednesday alleged that its “mandate has been stolen in the dark of the night” after major political parties in the country decided to form a coalition government led by PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.

In a surprise move, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nominated Shehbaz as the prime ministerial candidate on Tuesday night instead of the party supremo and three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif.

Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan said that Imran's “mandate has been stolen in the dark of the night.”

In a post on X, Hasan said, “Pakistan is being put on [the] road to further destabilisation.”

Referring to a possible coalition government led by the PML-N, he said:

“The decision to induct a bunch of criminals to form governments, who have been rejected by the people, reflects a myopic view of the grave challenges the country is beset with.”

Despite running as independent candidates backed by Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, they sprang a surprise by winning the most seats in Parliament. They have won 92 seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

To form a government, a party must win 133 seats out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly.

While Khan, the 71-year-old cricketer-turned-politician, is in jail after being convicted in corruption cases, the PTI-backed candidates ran as independents due to the party losing the election symbol of ‘bat' following controversy surrounding its organisational elections.

The PTI spokesperson said the current situation was “striking at the very essence of democratic principles and norms," as well as reflected a “disdain for the national interests and the welfare of its people.”

“Forces of dark must be stopped and power must pass on to those whom the people have chosen as their leaders,” Hasan added.

Supporters of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party block the Peshawar-Islambad highway as they protest against the alleged skewing in Pakistan's national election results in Peshawar on February 12, 2024.
Jailed Imran Khan warns against 'misadventure' of forming a government with 'stolen votes'

The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced that independent candidates, a majority of them supported by the PTI secured 101 seats, followed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 75 seats, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) getting 54 seats, and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) bagging 17 seats. Other parties got 17 seats, while the result of one constituency was withheld.

The formation of a new government would take some time.

According to the sources, the newly elected members of the assemblies should submit their election expense details by February 18, which will be followed by the Election Commission of Pakistan issuing a notification of the elected members by February 22.

Within the next three days, all the independent candidates should join a political party, followed by the allocation of 60 women reserved seats and 10 minority reserved seats to the political parties.

The next stage would be the meeting of the National Assembly to administer oaths to the new members. The President is bound to call the session by February 29 but sources said the session in the case of the National Assembly could be held on February 26, while the provincial assemblies could be summoned on the same or the following day.

Once the oath is administered, the new lawmakers will become regular members of their respective houses. It would be followed by the election of speakers, deputy speakers, and prime minister in case of National Assembly and chief ministers in the provincial assemblies will commence, the sources said.

The elections were held on February 8 and the first session of the assembly should be called within 21 days after the day of the polls.

As all hurdles about the formation of the new government have been resolved, it is expected that a fresh setup will be in place by the beginning of next month. 

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com