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PML-N gets enough heads to form govt on its own

27 May, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has secured simple majority in the National Assembly after eighteen independent members of the House submitted their affidavits with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to join the party.

Following the inclusion of the eighteen independents the strength of PML-N in the House has risen to 144. The PML-N secured 126 seats out of 268 on which polls were held on May 11. The National Assembly has a total of 272 seats on which legislators are elected directly. The elections were postponed on four seats because of death of contesting candidates.

The PML-N needs the support of 135 members to elect its leader of House, speaker and deputy speaker, and after securing 144 members, it will not need any support from the other parliamentary groups in the House. However, it has the support of PML-Functional, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, National Peoples Party and National Party which have five, three, two and one members in the House, respectively. With the support of these parties, PML-N candidates for the slot of leader of House, speaker and deputy speaker will have the support of 155 directly elected members of the House.

The PML-N is set to grab majority of the reserved seats for women and minorities. The National Assembly has 60 seats reserved for women and ten for minorities, which take the total strength of the house to 342. For every reserved seat for women, the support of 4.58 directly elected members is needed. Keeping in view the total strength of 144 members, PML-N will bag 32 reserved seats of women, and five of minorities out of the ten reserved for non-Muslims.

With the support of women and minorities elected on reserved seats, the PML-N is sure to achieve strength of 192 on its own which is quite high against the required strength of 170 in the incomplete House of 338. For simple legislation in the House, PML-N will not require the support of opposition by reason of having comfortable simple majority. However, for constitutional amendments, it would need the support of opposition parties like the Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

On the other side, the total strength of likely opposition is much lower than the government side. The PPPP has secured 32 directly elected seats and PTI has 28 seats in the House. The MQM has 18 members, JUI-F 10, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) 3, PML-Q 2 and there are seven parties which have only one seat in the House. The combined strength of opposition would come out to 92. However, it has to be seen whether a joint opposition will come into existence or not.

End.

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