Premier’s candidate to be decided via consultation if PML-N fails to get simple majority, says ex-PM

(Left to right) PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif at the stage during a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, on October 21, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — X@pmln_org
(Left to right) PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz, Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif at the stage during a rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore, on October 21, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — X@pmln_org
  • “We have to make big decisions, likely to go for new IMF programme”.
  • Shehbaz advocates privatisation scheme for loss-making entities.
  • Bomb blasts aimed to terrorise voters ahead of poll day: politico.

Ahead of the nationwide polls slated to be held tomorrow, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said Wednesday that Nawaz Sharif would be the party’s premiership candidate if the PML-N gained a simple majority in parliament.

“If we fail to get a simple majority in parliament, the PML-N will decide on the premier’s candidate after consultations,” the former prime minister said while speaking on Geo News’ special election transmission.

He also elaborated on his party’s plan if it managed to secure power after the general elections. “We have to make big decisions. We would need to go for another IMF [International Monetary Fund] programme.”

He advocated the country’s privatisation scheme for loss-making national entities. Shehbaz also took credit for saving the country from facing default. The politico added that the nation will decide tomorrow regarding the political party for ruling the country.

Commenting on recent explosions, the PML-N president said that a few hours are left for the poll day and the bomb blasts were carried out to stop voters from taking part in the forthcoming electoral event.

He blamed the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for making questionable decisions that boosted terrorism in the country.

PML-N candidates will contest on 212 NA constituencies across the country on February 8 — leaving the field open on 51 NA seats for rivals or allies.

PML-N supremo Nawaz will contest polls in NA-15 (Mansehra) and NA-130 (Lahore) constituencies.

PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz will contest the election from NA-119 and Hamza Shehbaz will contest from NA-118 Lahore.

On the other hand, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif will participate in the election from NA-123 and NA-132.

The constituencies where the PML-N has not fielded its candidates are: NA-4 (Swat-III), NA-19 (Swabi-I), NA-20 (Swabi-II), NA-21 (Mardan-I), NA-22 (Mardan-III), NA-44 (Dera Ismail Khan-I), NA-45 (Dera Ismail Khan-II), NA-48 (Islamabad-III), NA-54 (Islamabad-III), NA-64 (Gujrat-III), NA-88 (Khushab-II), NA-92 (Bhakkar-II), NA-117 (Lahore-I), NA-128 (Lahore-XII), NA-143 (Sahiwal-III), NA-149 (Multan-II).

Moreover, the candidates are also not contesting on NA-165, NA-185, NA-190 to NA-204, NA-206 to NA-210, NA-212, NA-214, NA-215, NA-217, NA-218, NA-221, NA-223, NA-224, NA-228, NA-239, NA-245, NA-264 and NA-266.

The former ruling party, in its bid to strengthen its position in the province ahead of the upcoming elections, had entered a seat adjustment agreement with Jahangir Tareen’s IPP.

Several recent surveys have put the Nawaz-led party ahead of his rivals including Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Bilawal Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

In the last few weeks, the PML-N narrowed the popularity gap and then went ahead in the ratings. He has also been called “the king of comebacks” by the BBC for a popular perception that he is highly likely to become the prime minister of Pakistan for the fourth time.



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