Islamabad, Aug 3: Arch-rivals Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) - who have exchanged power throughout the 71-year-history of the Islamic republic - have joined hands in a last bid effort to block cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's elevation as the Prime Minister.
The PML-N, PPP and nearly a dozen smaller parties have formed a coalition, the All Parties Conference, which will nominate its own PM candidate.
To be elected as the Prime Minister, a member of the Pakistan national assembly needs the support of 137 elected members out of the total 272 lawmakers.
Since Imran Khan's party - the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf - won 117 seats -- 20 short of the majority-mark -- its relying on the support of independents and smaller parties to form its government.
While pollsters and PTI leaders are firm on surpassing the majority mark by August 11, the day chosen by Imran Khan for his swearing-in, the coalition formed by PML-N and PPP will ensure that his majority remains thin.
In absence of a brute majority, Khan's ambitious agenda to reform Pakistan via massive privatisation may get hindered.
The All Parties Conference, in its meeting on Friday, said they have decided to challenge Khan's elevation as the "polls were rigged by Khalai-Makhlooq". By Khalai-Makhooq, the parties referred to the all-powerful Pakistan Army and the Inter-State Intelligence (ISI).
The PML-N, which led the last civilian government in the State, is led by Shahbaz Sharif, the younger brother of disgraced former PM Nawaz Sharif. The PPP, on the other hand, is being led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of late former PM Benazir Bhutto.
In the general elections held last week, the PML-N and the PPP were restricted to 44 and 43 seats, respectively.