ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is struggling to get simple majority in the National Assembly and for this it is eyeing the support of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) to get pass the 172 count in the house of 342.
In the strain to focus on the formation of the federal government, the PTI senior leadership headed by its chief Imran Khan postponed announcing the names for the slot of Chief Minister in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
Tuesday was another busy day at the residence of PTI chief Imran Khan where newly elected lawmakers for the federal and provincial assemblies held meetings and discussed future strategy with Khan and party members.
Only one independent member from PP-238 (Bahawalnagar) Shoukat Lalika joined the PTI and another from Khanewal. While the actual number of PTI seat at the Centre is still 168 since Monday including the reserve seats of allied parties.
“The PTI is focusing on the Centre and no names for the CM slots of K-P and Punjab will be announced until the number game is completed at the federal level,” said newly elected lawmaker in K-P Shah Farman told reporters outside Bani Gala after meeting the PTI chief.
A delegation from K-P met Khan to shun the impression that there was some grouping in the PTI at the provincial level. One of the potential candidates for the CM slot — Pervaiz Khattak — told the media that there was no internal rift for the head of province.
According to PTI sources, in the meeting chaired by the PTI chief senior members strongly suggested that it was time to unite and not let rivals and opponents make the party a laughing stock.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry told The Express Tribune that they had got the required number for the leader of the house in the National Assembly and it was likely that the announcement would be made about it.
A similar claim he made about the majority in Punjab.
However, a senior official in the party stated that efforts were being made to woo the MQM-P and a few other independent candidates in the Centre.
The party meeting also urged the PTI chief to retain the seat he won from Mianwali and in principal he agreed to the suggestion.
Similarly, the party leadership also have a detailed discussion with the allies as to who will get what in the cabinet.
Reportedly the PML-Q has asked the PTI for two ministries in the federal cabinet while its own lawmakers are also seeking several positions.
If the PTI does not get the required number to get the leader of the house elected it does not mean that Imran Khan cannot become prime minister.
Article 91 of the Constitution describes the criteria to elect a prime minister. Its Sub-section 4 says: “Prime Minister shall be elected by the votes of the majority of the total membership of the National Assembly.”
“Provided that, if no member secures such majority (simple majority) in the first poll, a second poll shall be held between the members who secure the two highest numbers of votes in the first poll and the member who secures a majority of votes of the members present and voting shall be declared to have been elected as Prime Minister.”
The parties that have joined the PTI are the PML-Q, the Balochistan Awami Party, the Balochistan National Party and the MQM-P likely in two days.