Earlier, PTI provincial president Asad Qaiser said they have achieved the required number for forming a government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Addressing a press conference in Peshawar, Qaiser said the PTI has achieved a consensus on forming the provincial government after successful talks with the Jamaat-i- Islami (JI), Awami Jamhuri Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) and five independent MPAs.
Earlier on Monday PTI provincial leaders held a meeting with JI’s Central Naib Ameer Sirajul Haq to discuss the power sharing formula among the coalition partners.
“Any party that has majority seats should be given an invitation to form the government,” said JI provincial spokesperson Israrullah Advocate. “We will hold a meeting of the party’s provincial cabinet and will formally announce partnering with the PTI in the coalition government.”
But it may not be that simple. The PTI has won 34 seats in the 99-member assembly, the JUI-F has 16, the PML-N 12, the ANP has five, JI and QWP have seven each and PPP has two. Independents make up 13 seats.
Coupled with eight female and one minority reserved seats, the PTI’s tally comes to up to 43, and with independents the QWP and JI, it barely reaches the simple majority of 63.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Qaiser said that talks with the QWP were under way.
“We have received a positive response from QWP leadership and are confident that they will be partners in the collation government as their policies for the province are coherent with PTI’s,” he said.
He claimed the PTI will make an exemplary government in the province and will constitute a cabinet with the minimum number of ministers and advisers. “We will make tough administrative decisions and will appoint those bureaucrats on important positions who are known for their good reputation,” he added.
But it’s not all smooth sailing, as Maulana Fazlur Rehman is also angling for power in K-P.
“Both JUI-F and PTI have contacted us discussing the possibilities of forming a coalition government but we have not yet taken any decision in this regard,” said QWP Provincial President Sikandar Sherpao. The JUI-F’s moves are said to be the reason the PTI had to move fast and announce that they want to make Khattak the chief minister
Now, the balance of power lies in the hands of not just the QWP, but also the independents, who may be forming a bloc of their own. An independent candidate, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune that eight of the 13 independents have formed a group. “We will hold talks on behalf of all candidates with the parties and decide the course of action,” he said.
Despite claims from both sides, the QWP has kept its options open and is likely to take a decision after the meeting of its party’s parliamentary board on Tuesday. Earlier QWP chief Aftab Sherpao told journalists that their options were open and they will take a decision which suits the interests of Pakhtuns.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2013.