Pakistan’s Imran Khan-backed candidates to join Sunni party -interim party chief

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 6:11 AM

KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Independent candidates backed by Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister that won seats in inconclusive elections over 10 days ago will join the minority Sunni Ittehad Council Political Party to form a government, the party’s interim chief said on Monday.

The interim chief, Barrister Gohar Khan, said at a news briefing the decision to join the minority party was so that former PM Imran Khan’s party, the Tehreek-e-Insaf, which was barred from contesting the election, could access reserved seats in the national assembly.

Parties are allocated 70 reserved seats – 60 for women, 10 for non-Muslims – in proportion to the number of seats won. This completes the National Assembly’s total 336 seats. Independents are not eligible for reserved seats.

During the press conference, the leader for the Sunni Ittehad Council Political Party said it had signed a memorandum with the PTI and all direction would come from the PTI and jailed leader Khan.

(Reporting by Ariba Shahid in Karachi; Editing by Bernadette Baum)