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PPP members reject coalition with PML-N in govt formation talks

ISLAMABAD (PEN) : The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) grapples with internal differences regarding potential participation in Punjab’s new government alongside the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). While some members advocate for joining the coalition, others voice strong opposition.

Following the conclusion of the general elections held nationwide on February 8, discussions about government formation have intensified, particularly within the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

A recent Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting, chaired by PPP chairman Bilawal and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, saw passionate arguments from both sides. A significant portion of members, particularly those from Punjab, expressed support for entering the provincial government and negotiating terms that benefit the PPP. They believe this could be crucial for the party’s revival in the province.

However, others vehemently opposed any alliance with the PML-N. They view the party’s recent majority as questionable and advocate for staying in opposition at the federal level. This faction suggests such a stance would strengthen the PPP’s position and hold the government accountable.

Sources familiar with the discussions revealed that a faction within the CEC emphasized that PPP should engage in negotiations for participation in the Punjab government on its own terms. They argued that for PPP to regain prominence in Punjab, strategic positioning within the provincial government is essential. However, there were dissenting voices asserting that any collaboration with the PML-N should be avoided.

During the session, Asif Zardari departed after a brief 20 minutes, leaving Bilawal Bhutto to convey the party’s stance. Bilawal acknowledged the reservations PPP had regarding the election processes in both 2013 and 2018 but affirmed acceptance of the recent election results.

Bilawal Bhutto emphasized that not all members could express their opinions fully during the meeting, indicating that discussions would resume the following day. The second round of the PPP Central Executive Committee meeting was scheduled for the afternoon, underscoring the significance of the deliberations in shaping the party’s future course of action.