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Nawaz Sharif's PML-N Becomes Largest Party In Pakistan's National Assembly: Report

On Monday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled that 71-year-old former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) is not eligible for the reserved seats allotted to women and minorities in Parliament and their share of seats should be allocated to other parties.

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Nawaz Sharif led-PML-N becomes the largest political party in Pakistan's National Assembly Photo: Getty Images
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Ex-premier Nawaz Sharif led-PML-N has become the largest political party in Pakistan's National Assembly after the number of its seats surged to 123, following the distribution of reserved seats denied to former prime minister Imran Khan backed-SIC, a media report said on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) ruled that 71-year-old former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) is not eligible for the reserved seats allotted to women and minorities in Parliament and their share of seats should be allocated to other parties.

Almost all 93 PTI-backed independently elected candidates had joined the right-wing SIC to receive its share of reserved seats for women and minorities. In total, 266 seats of the lower house of Parliament were up for grabs out of the 336. Another 60 seats were reserved for women and 10 for minorities, allotted to the winning parties based on proportional representation.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) initially won 75 general seats after last month's general election and was joined by nine independent candidates, the Dawn newspaper reported.

It was allocated 19 reserved seats for women and four reserved seats for minorities, taking its total tally to 107. After the ECP denied the PTI-backed SIC of reserved seats, the three-time former premier Nawaz Sahrif-led PML-N was allocated 15 out of the remaining 20 reserved seats for women and one out of the three remaining seats reserved for minorities.

Its tally reached 123 seats, making it the largest party in the National Assembly, the report said. The number of seats won by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has also gone up to 73 from the earlier 68. The former finance minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari-led party initially won 54 general seats and was allocated 12 seats reserved for minorities and two for women.

It was then allocated four more seats reserved for women and one for minorities. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) party has 22 members in the National Assembly, while the number of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) lawmakers has gone up to 11 from seven.

Though the PTI-backed independents won more than 90 seats at the 266-member National Assembly in the February 8 general election, the PML-N and the PPP agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government.

PML-N Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was elected as the cash-strapped country's prime minister for a second time. Khan's party has rejected the attempts by the PML-N and the PPP to form a coalition government, warning that robbing its public endorsement by the "mandate thieves" will result in the worst political instability.

It announced on Tuesday that it will launch nationwide protests on March 10 against the "stealing" of the mandate, nearly a month after an inconclusive general election marred by allegations of vote rigging.

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