Highlights

  • Uncertainty remains as no clear winner emerges
  • Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan both have stake claim to form government
  • A party needs 133 seats to form a government

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Pakistan election result: Who can form government, and how are numbers stacked up?

While both Imran Khan and Naawaz Sharif have staked claim to form a government, none of the parties have managed to cross the halfway mark of 133

Pakistan election result: Who can form government, and how are numbers stacked up?

The Pakistan election, conducted amidst militant violence, and allegations of poll rigging, has delivered a fractured mandate. Of the 266 contested seats, independents backed by Imran Khan's PTI party have won 101 seats, Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz got 73 seats and Bilawal Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party secured 54 seats. While both Imran Khan and Naawaz Sharif have staked claim to form a government, none of the parties have managed to cross the halfway mark of 133.

The Assembly consists of 336 seats of which 266 are decided through direct voting on polling day.

There are also 70 reserved seats. 60 for women and 10 for non-Muslims, which is allotted according to the strength of each party in the house to determine the final position of parties in the Assembly.

Here are the likely scenarios that could happen next:

PML-N and PPP form coalition
Sharif's PML-N party has got 73 seats, and Bilawal Bhutto's PPP has 53. Even if both enter into a coalition, they would still need six more to form a majority government. Both parties then need to bank on political horse-trading and getting additonal seats from the reserved category.

Khan's independents
Khan's independent candidates can join a smaller party in parliament in order to form a single bloc to fulfil a requirement for them to be allocated reserved seats. That would push them closer to a majority and allow them to put up a candidate for prime minister.

No deal, the Army steps in
If the uncertainty continues to drag on with no desired resutls, Pakistan's army, the most powerful and organised force in the country, would have to step in. It has done thrice before in the country's 76-year history. The army has already called on political parties to show "maturity and unity".


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