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PPP, PML-Q alliance can snatch many NA seats from PML-N

24 December, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The politics of coalition being pursued by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) can deliver more than is being expected of it at the moment. It can help the PPP-PML-Q potential alliance knock out its major rival; PML-N, on a number of National Assembly seats in Punjab in the upcoming general elections.

The now allies PPP and PML-Q had lost over 23 NA seats to the PML-N in 2008 general elections due to a split vote, despite the fact they collectively bagged majority votes from the constituency. With at least nine NA seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa likely to be won by either component of the coalition; PPP or ANP, MQM is likely to secure over 20 seats for the PPP-led coalition.

The PPP is determined to keep its strength intact at least in Sindh, while the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is on a "destroy PML-N" mission. Luck hardly seems to be in favour of the isolated PML-N in the upcoming general elections unless it patches up with the "decisive PML-Q".

On the other hand, coalition seems to be the only recipe for the incumbent political setup at Centre to regain power as it has miserably failed in addressing the issues of public importance. The 2008 general elections statistics show that either PPP or the ANP were the winner or runner-up in the nine NA constituencies from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and keeping in view the presence of these parties in the province at present, these seats are likely to remain with either component of the coalition.

This very satisfaction for the coalition partners might have been one of the reasons behind disinterest in forging an alliance in the province. In 2008 general elections, Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour of ANP was winner in NA-1(Peshawar-1) with 44,210 votes, while Ayub Shah of PPP runner up with 37,682.

Keeping in view the PML-Q vote bank and heavyweight candidates in Punjab, the party seems to be taking centre stage and would prove a major factor in the success of a coalition in the upcoming general elections. Interestingly, the Shujaat-led party could prove equally beneficial for both the PPP and PML-N, but the question remains with whom will it enter into an alliance with.

It can help the potential PPP-led coalition gain majority at Centre by fielding consensus candidates. But, if contrary to the proposed alliance with the PPP, the PML-Q makes an alliance with PML-N, to which it is ideologically more closer, both the PML factions, through consensus candidates, would be in a better position to defeat PPP on even more number of NA seats in Punjab by cashing in on the Muslim League vote in one account, suggests the last general election results.


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