Contrary to most pre-poll predictions, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged as the single largest party by securing 123 seats of the National Assembly, according to the results released by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The election commission has received 256 results out of 268 constituencies, and are still waiting for results from 12 constituencies, a senior ECP official said.
In order to win a simple majority in the 342-member lower house, a party or coalition would need 172 seats. Of the total seats, 272 are for directly elected members while 60 are reserved seats for women and 10 are for minorities.
These reserved seats are allocated to parties as per their performance in the polls. As per the results from ECP, PML-N has secured 123 seats; Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPPP) bagged 37 seats, followed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which managed to get 27 seats. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) won 18 seats, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) 10 seats, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) four seats, Jamaat-e-Islami three seats, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) two seats, NPP and PML two seats each.
Eight parties, including the Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), Qaumi Watan Party-Sherpao (QWP-S), Pakistan Muslim League-Zia (PML-Z), NP, AMLP, AJIP, All Pakistan Muslim league (APML) of General retd Parvez Musharraf have each won one seat in the National Assembly.
Additionally, 26 independents have also won seats in the lower house. Seven of the independent candidates belong to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 16 are from Punjab, two from Sindh and one from Balochistan.
PML-N, the majority party in National Assembly, according to provisional results, has already expressed its willingness to accommodate all political forces in the governments. According to a PML-N spokesperson, negotiations for possible coalitions are already underway.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2013.