The newly winning Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is seeking the
formation of a new coalition government after it won the general
elections on Wednesday, but the post-election scenario remains
According to unofficial results for the 267 seats in the
National Assembly, the PPP won 88, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N), led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, secured 65 and
the pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) is on the
third position with 42. Other parties and independents shared the
The official election results will be released on March 1, local
TV reported on Wednesday.
The PPP won most seats partly attributable to the sympathy votes
for the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on
December 27, 2007. The largest party in Pakistan now needs
coalition partners to form a new government.
In the coming days, the parties will conduct intense
negotiations in a reconciliatory manner.
The PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday that he was
contacting with all parties, primarily with PML-N, on the formation
of a coalition government. Zardari will hold meeting with Sharif on
Thursday in Islamabad. Meanwhile, Zardari met with a top aid of
President Prevez Musharraf.
If the PPP joins hands with Sharif's party, they will bring
great challenges to Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup.
Bhutto's widower Zardari and Sharif both on Tuesday urged
Musharraf to step down since the PML-Q was defeated in the
elections. But Musharraf has dismissed the possibility of
"Not only we, but the whole nation is reminding Pervez Musharraf
to resign," said Zardari at a news conference, "The PML-Q has lost.
Now we'll take this demand of resignation to the Parliament."
Even so, some analysts say that there are ideological
differences between the PPP and Sharif's party, which might make a
In the short term, the two parties stand together to deal with
Musharraf; but in the long term, they are expected to see
unavoidable difficulties ahead for cooperation if forming a
coalition government in the future, said analysts.
Musharraf has expressed his willingness to work with the new
government through reconciliation. Musharraf told the Wall
Street Journal that he hopes the new government would follow a
conciliatory course. "The confrontational politics of the 1990's
should be left behind," the president said.
Besides, the United States wants to see a stable Pakistan and
hopes Pakistan remains a partner to fight terrorism, thus will urge
the next government to work with Musharraf.
"We certainly would hope that whoever becomes Prime Minister and
whoever winds up in charge of the new government would be able to
work with (Musharraf)," US State Department spokesman Tom Casey
The US hopes the new Pakistan government will "work with us as
partners in counter terrorism", White House spokeswoman Dana Perino
said on Tuesday.
(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)