Independents hold key to Punjab government formation

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Lahore : Independents who won in the just concluded Punjab Assembly elections will play a crucial role in the formation of the next government in Pakistan's biggest province.

While PML-N - a political heavyweight in Punjab - has secured a strong position with 127 seats in the Punjab Assembly, it is only nine seats ahead of PTI.

A party looking to form a government in Punjab will need 149 seats in the 297-seat house. The Election Commission of Pakistan will notify the selection of women on 66 reserved seats and eight on minority seats according to the lists submitted by political parties.

PTI will need 31 independent candidates of other parties to join it in order to form the government in the province.

With 27 seats, independent candidates are the third largest group in the Punjab Assembly.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has bagged six seats and Pakistan Muslim League-Q has secured seven. With one seat each, Balochistan Awami Party, PML-Functional and Pakistan Awami Raj will also represent their voters in the Punjab Assembly.

Sources familiar with the matter informed Geo News that PTI has invited 14 independent candidates to join the party so far. Party leader Jahangir Tareen and Chaudhry Sarwar are in contact with others.