Michael Kugelman, a specialist in South Asian affairs at Washington’s Wilson Centre, has said that a multi-party coalition would lead the government after elections like the one did after the ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan.
“PTI has earned a public mandate to govern. But it’s all but assured Pakistan’s next ruling coalition will look a lot like the previous one-a PDM redux led by PMLN and PPP and some smaller parties,” he said in a thread on X, formerly called Twitter.
His analysis was apparently made in the context of the PML-N, emerging as the single largest party after the elections, meetings with the leaders of the PPP and the MQM-P.
The two major political parties have agreed on cooperation to have political stability.
Kugelman said that the PTI defied the odds in recent days, but it appeared headed for the opposition.
“It’ll be tough for PTI to keep all its victorious sponsored independents on side. They’ll be under pressure by the military to align w/different parties. PTI will also struggle to find coalition partners, who may fear repercussions from a military that wants PTI to be isolated.”
But the Imran Khan-led party has claimed to make governments in not just Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but also in Punjab and the Centre.
A large number of PTI-backed independent candidates secured most of the seats in the National Assembly, according to the provisional results by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
“PTI’s view is that rampant rigging deprived it of seats, meaning it must work much harder to put together a coalition. This is one of the reasons why PTI will certainly go the courts seeking relief. That said, even if some results are reversed, it may not be enough to help,” the political analyst said.
He added that the PTI itself would be uncomfortable about being in a coalition with bitter rivals, like the PPP. “It may resign itself to returning to opposition and hoping the next gov’t-which will be weak and fractious-won’t stick around long.”