Islamabad: Pakistan’s two former dominant political parties said that they would join forces to field their own candidate for Prime Minister in Parliament, challenging former cricket star Imran Khan, whose party won last week’s general election on July 25.
The alliance with several other smaller parties appeared unlikely to derail Khan’s election as Prime Minister, but it could leave him with a thin majority that could make enacting his agenda difficult. Khan’s party, which won 116 of the 272 elected seats in the National Assembly, is believed to have enough would-be coalition partners among smaller parties and independents to win a majority vote to form a government.
But the main rival parties, which repeated accusations that the vote was rigged by the powerful military, vowed to vote together with several smaller parties against Khan’s election as Prime Minister in Parliament.
The rigged polls
￼ It is an alliance which is against the rigged elections, and where all the political parties were not provided a free and fair, level playing field. -Maryam Aurangzeb, Spokesperson, PML-N
‘POLL CAMPAIGN An unequal playing field’
- The opposition alliance was not believed to have the numbers to block Khan’s election. A European Union election monitoring team described the election campaign as an unequal playing field but said it was up to the people to decide on the vote’s legitimacy.
- The PML-N joined with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), led by the son of assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto, and several smaller nationalist and religious parties in forming the opposition alliance, known as the All Parties Conference.
Anti-graft body summons Imran
- Pakistan’s anti-corruption body on Friday summoned Imran Khan on August 7 in an ongoing inquiry against his alleged misuse of government’s helicopters. The PTI chief is accused of illegally using an Mi-17 and an Ecureuil helicopter belonging to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for 74 hours, causing a loss of Rs2.1 million to the national exchequer. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, PTI has led the provincial government since 2013.
- Khan had earlier said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government made it clear that there was never any personal or private use of government helicopters by him. He also said that NAB was ‘most welcome’ to examine the issue. The 65-year-old leader was summoned in July as well.