Will sit in opposition if independents have majority, says Shahbaz

prime minister

LAHORE: Addressing a gathering here today, former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahbaz Sharif reflected on the recent political developments and the state of affairs in the country.

He highlighted the significance of the election day, and emphasised its importance in shaping the nation’s future. He delved into the challenges faced during the electoral process, including discussions surrounding potential election cancellations due to concerns over terrorism and adverse weather conditions.

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Sharif also commended the pivotal roles played by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chairman of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in ensuring the smooth conduct of elections, alongside the diligent efforts of law enforcement agencies in maintaining peace and order.

Reflecting on past elections, Sharif recalled instances of rigging and electoral controversies in the last general elections. “The results started coming after 66 hours in 2018. The whole world saw the pre-poll and post-poll rigging with 2018 elections,” he said adding, “The worst rigging was done in Khawaja Saad Rafique’s constituency”

Shahbaz Sharif underscored the prevalence of rigging allegations in every election and urged for a comprehensive analysis beyond initial result percentages.

Expressing concerns over the current political climate, Sharif addressed accusations of fraud levelled against the PML-N, juxtaposed against the loss of senior leaders in the elections.

He highlighted the rejection of recounting petitions and reiterated PML-N’s emergence as the largest party post-election. He stressed the need for national unity and urged for the resolution of public issues through collaborative efforts.

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Sharif extended an olive branch to independent members, advocating for their right to form a government if they prove majority, while affirming PML-N’s commitment to sitting in opposition if necessary.

He said, “If independent members can prove their majority, they should absolutely form their own government, we will sit in opposition. However, if they cannot, then other parties should be able to form the government”.

In concluding remarks, Sharif called for healing national wounds and moving forward with unity. He expressed optimism about PML-N’s prospects, citing increased numbers and majority in Punjab. Sharif asserted the importance of continuing consultations and adhering to constitutional protocols in the formation of the government.

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