PPP to back PML-N candidate for PM’s slot but won’t become part of govt in Centre

Bilawal withdraws from candidacy for prime minister’s post as “PPP doesn’t have mandate to form federal govt”

Despite days-long consultations between the two major parties of the country, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has decided to back Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate for the prime minister’s slot but will not be a part of the federal government.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari made the major announcement during a news conference in Islamabad after the Central Executive Committee’s (CEC) session on Tuesday, saying that he was withdrawing from the candidacy for prime minister’s post as “the PPP doesn’t have the mandate to form the federal government”.

“It is a fact that the PPP does not have a mandate to form the federal government and due to that I will not be putting myself forward for the candidacy of the prime minister of Pakistan,” said the 35-year-old politician, who ran the 2024 general election for the country’s top slot.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and PML-N, he said, had more numbers than his party in the National Assembly (NA), but since the former has announced that they would not engage in any dialogue with the PPP, there is no possibility of a PTI or independents-led government in the country.

It may be noted that PTI founder Imran Khan brushed off the possibility of forming a coalition government with PPP, PML-N or Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).

The young politician further stated that as the PPP is not in a position to form the government in the Centre, it would not be interested in taking federal ministries in the setup.

“We don’t want to see chaos in the country or perpetual crisis in the country,” he said while setting aside the perception of re-election.

Revealing the reason behind backing the rival party’s candidate for the coveted post, Bilawal said that the PPP decided to support the PML-N’s candidate for the premiership to ensure political instability in the country.

Earlier, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) claimed that the former ruling party, upon directions of its founder Imran Khan, will join hands with Majlis-e-Wahdat-Muslimeen (MWM) to form its governments in Centre and Punjab.

Speaking to the media in Islamabad on Tuesday, PTI spokesperson Raoof Hasan said that the former prime minister, while ruling out the prospects of any talks with the PML-N, PPP and MQM-P, has directed the party to form a coalition with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) over reserved seats.

The PTI’s decision to join hands with the MWM — which has only secured one National Assembly seat — comes as its sponsored candidates, who have won 116 provincial assembly seats in Punjab, will have 72 hours to join a party once the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) notifies their win.

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