Stalemate in Pakistan’s Coalition Government Formation Amid Power-Sharing Disputes


ISLAMABAD: The formation of a new coalition government in Pakistan hit a roadblock on Tuesday as the top leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) failed to reach a consensus on power-sharing. The fifth round of talks, held at the residence of senior PML-N leader Senator Ishaq Dar, saw the participation of prominent leaders from both parties. Despite their shared resolve to work together for the benefit of the cash-strapped country, the talks broke down after three hours of deliberation.

The PPP delegation, which included senior leaders Murad Ali Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nadeem Afzal Chan, and others, reportedly demanded key constitutional posts like President, Senate Chairman, and National Assembly Speaker to support former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N. PPP Chairman Bilawal Zardari-Bhutto is allegedly trying to position the PML-N to withdraw from forming a coalition government, allowing him to project himself as the Prime Minister with the support of independent MPs from jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who have now joined the Sunni Ittehad Council.

However, Bilawal, a 35-year-old former foreign minister of Pakistan, faces a significant hurdle as PTI has already ruled out the possibility of supporting PPP. Bilawal expressed concerns about a deadlock in forming a coalition government in Pakistan if no party is willing to change its stance, indicating a deepening rift in the country’s political landscape. He stressed that the PPP and he were firm on their stand and would not change it at any cost.

The general elections have been mired in controversy with serious allegations of widespread fraud. Even after 11 days of voting, it remains unclear which party will form the government at the Centre. Despite independent candidates backed by PTI winning the maximum seats in parliament, the PML-N and PPP have announced their intention to form a coalition government once the election results are declared. However, a decision regarding the inclusion of PPP in the Cabinet has not been taken despite several rounds of talks.


Parliament is scheduled to meet for the first session by February 29, and it is expected that the two major parties – PML-N and PPP – will agree on power-sharing arrangements by that time. Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) pledged its support to PML-N on Monday. To form the government, any party must win 133 of the 265 seats contested in the 266-member National Assembly. Independent candidates won 93 National Assembly seats in the election, most of whom are PTI-supported. PML-N won 75 seats while PPP stood third with 54 seats. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has also agreed to support PML-N with its 17 seats.