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Pakistan elections: Uncertain alliance amid rigging allegations

ANM Bureau

Political uncertainty continued in Pakistan even after two weeks of general election with allegations of large-scale rigging by the jailed former PM Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tahreeke Insaaf party and non-agreements within the opposition alliance.

Meanwhile Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has rejected a power-sharing formula in which the prime minister’s post would be shared between his and former premier Nawaz Sharif’s parties. According to the reports Bilawal said “No” even as a possibility of achieving a breakthrough expressed from Nawaz Sharif’s side in the next round of talks.

Pakistan, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on the other hand maintained that tricks like “weaponisation” of social media were being used to blackmail and pressurise civil servants to switch their loyalties from the State to the violent gang.

Kakar’s warning had a reference to Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha resignation and his allegations prior to quitting that he oversaw the rigging to deprive jailed former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of 13 seats which were given to candidates who were “losing” the elections in the garrison city.

Chattha, before resigning from his post “accepting responsibility” for the manipulation of poll results claimed that Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja were involved in the alleged rigging.

Elections for the National Assembly were held on February 8. With more than 90 seats won by independents backed by jailed prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) became the largest party, Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came second and Pakistan People’s Party bagged third place with 54 seats.

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

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