Islamabad, Aug 22 : As the stage is set for the next presidential election is set in Pakistan with the announcement of schedule by the country's Election Commission, the PPP seems to be No 1 in terms of numbers in the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies.
The numbers game in the 702-member presidential electoral college comprising of the Senate, the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies - has tilted in favour of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), reported the Daily Times.
According to the paper, the PPP can get up to 428 votes even without support from the PML-N and the PML-Q.
The PPP is expected to finalise today its Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari's name for the post.
According to the formula given in Schedule-II of the Constitution, the 342 members of the National Assembly and 100 members of the Senate have one vote each. The number of votes cast in a provincial assembly in favour of each candidate will be multiplied by the total number of seats in a provincial assembly having the smallest number of seats (Balochistan with 65 seats) and divided by the total number of seats in the provincial assembly in which the votes are cast.
In case, the PML-N pulls out of the four-party coalition, the PPP (124 MNAs and 10 senators) will have the support of the Awami National Party (ANP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the independents and likely of Baloch nationalist parties, which are already part of the PPP-led coalition in Balochistan.
The paper said that the PML-Q, as its members were divided on the issue of former president Pervez Musharraf's ouster, may also divide in two groups. A forward bloc has already emerged in the former ruling party and is inclined towards the PPP.
In case of the PML-N's break-up with the PPP, there is also a possibility that a majority of PML-Q members may join the PML-N.
In the 100-member Senate, the PPP and its allies including FATA legislators have 46 members. Of the 339 members of the 342-member National Assembly, 184 belong to the PPP (124) and its allies (MQM 25, ANP 13, JUI-F 5, independents and FATA members 17).