Islamabad, Aug 5: Imran Khan will be named tomorrow as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party's candidate for the next prime minister of Pakistan and he is set to initially form a Cabinet of 15 to 20, according to media reports.
The party of the 65-year-old cricketer-turned-politician emerged as the single largest side in the National Assembly in the July 25 general elections. While the exact date of the swearing-in of Pakistan's new prime minister has not been announced, reports say it could take place on August 14, the Independence Day of the country.
"A parliamentary meeting of the party will take place tomorrow at a private hotel in Islamabad," PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry was quoted as saying by the Geo News. "Imran Khan will be formally announced as the party’s nominee for premier during the meeting," Chaudhry said.
Claiming that the PTI now has the clear support to form the government in the centre, Chaudhry said, "PTI's seat tally in the National Assembly currently stands at 125 after the inclusion of independents." Allies and reserved seats will take the PTI tally to 174 seats in the National Assembly, he added.
Further after the support of Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), the party will have 177 seats, Chaudhry said. Pakistan's National Assembly comprises a total of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected. A party can only form the government if it manages to clinch 172 seats in total. PTI had emerged in the lead with 116 NA seats in the polls. All PTI candidates elected to the National Assembly have been directed to be present at tomorrow’s meeting, Chaudhry said.
The PTI has also decided to form a 15-20 member federal Cabinet in the first phase of government formation, Geo News reported, after a high-level party meeting held yesterday. Sources said the party has decided to induct Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan in the Cabinet. The MQM-P will have one minister in the federal cabinet, while an adviser would be inducted later, the report said. Meanwhile, Khan has decided to not give any federal ministry to the members of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q). However, its leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi would be nominated for Punjab Assembly speaker, the sources said. They added that Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) will be given a federal ministry for their support in the centre, whereas the PTI will support BAP in getting its chief minister elected in Balochistan.
The PTI is also expected to get two ministries in the Balochistan Cabinet. On Friday, the PTI and MQM-P also signed a nine-point memorandum of understanding for the formation of a new government in the centre.
On Thursday, however, the political parties aligned against PTI announced that they are fielding their own candidate for prime minister in Parliament. The parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and the Awami National Party, have decided to field their own consensus candidates for the prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker slots in the National Assembly.