Islamabad, July 28: The PTI, which emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly elections but fell short of securing majority, was on Saturday involved in hectic lobbying to win support from Independents and smaller parties to form a ruling combine and pave the way for its chief Imran Khan to head a coalition government.
According to the figures provided by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won 115 out of the 270 seats on which the elections were held. The party, however, was short of 22 seats for a simple majority.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which completed its government's tenure in May, this time won 64 seats, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) remained at the third place with 43 seats.
Khan, the Prime Minister-in-waiting, himself continued to hold meetings with prominent leaders on Saturday. Former Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly Mehmoodur Rasheed also met Khan at his Bani Gala residence.
Rasheed apprised the PTI chief about establishing contact with Independents. Both leaders also discussed possible candidates for the post of Punjab Chief Minister, where the PTI is scouting for Independents to form the provincial government.
The PML-N, which has ruled Punjab for two consecutive tenures, again emerged as the largest party in the province, winning 129 of the 295 provincial assembly seats on which elections were held on July 25.
However, the party was not certain to form the government as the PTI was close behind with 123 seats and with the likely help of 28 Independents can form the government.
Given the current stalemate in Punjab, the importance of Independent candidates increased significantly in determining which party forms the government.
The Election Commission while revealing results on all 270 seats said that the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), an alliance of multiple religious parties, has managed to win only 12 seats, whereas Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) garnered just six seats.
PML-Quaid and the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) won four seats each, while Sindh-based Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) won only two. Akhtar Mengal's resurgent BNP bagged three berths for itself in the lower house of the parliament, while Awami National Party's (ANP) tally stood at just one.
Awami Muslim League (AML), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaniyat and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) also grabbed a seat each. Twelve independent candidates also triumphed in their constituencies and were likely to play an important role in the formation of the federal government.
Recounts on at least five seats, however, mean that the final result may differ from the count released by the commission on Saturday. Elections on two seats were also postponed by the ECP and will likely be held with the by-elections on seats vacated by leaders who have won more than one seats.