Non-elected technocrats, which may help in addressing Pakistan’s economic challenges, PSX expert

Following the February 8 elections, there was confusion about who would form the government since no party had taken the majority of seats in the National Assembly. In the National Assembly, out of 265 seats, Khan’s PTI-backed candidates got 93 seats (35%), while Sharif’s PML-N got 75 seats (28%) and Bhutto’s PPP 54 seats (20%). According to Geo News, smaller parties and others collectively got 43 seats (17%).

After the allocation of reserve seats, PML-N emerged as the largest party with 123 seats (37%), followed by the PTI-backed party Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) with 82 seats (24%) and PPP with 73 seats (22%) out of a total of 335 seats.

After a series of talks, the PML-N and PPP reached a final conclusion to form a coalition government with smaller parties, with Shehbaz Sharif (PML-N Candidate) as Prime Minister and Asif Ali Zardari (PPP Candidate) as President.

Shehbaz Sharif secured his second term as Prime Minister of Pakistan on March 03, 2024, winning 201 votes, compared to the 92 votes received by PTI-backed Omar Ayub Khan.

On March 9, Asif Ali Zardari secured his second term as President of Pakistan. The vote, conducted by the National and Provincial assemblies, resulted in Zardari receiving 411 votes, while his opponent, PTI-backed candidate Achakzai, secured 181 votes.

According to a summary sent by the Prime Minister to President Zardari, the new cabinet comprises 19 members, including 13 members of the National Assembly (lower house), 3 Senators (Upper House), and three technocrats, namely Muhammad Aurangzeb, Mohsin Naqvi, and Ahad Cheema.

Interestingly, Sharif’s cabinet key ministries will be led by non-elected technocrats, which may help address Pakistan’s economic challenges. According to the media, Muhammad Aurangzeb is likely to be the Finance Minister, while Mussadiq Malik is tipped as the Energy Minister.

Investors were keener to see who would be the new Finance Minister, as he would be the key person negotiating with the IMF. We think Mr Aurangzeb, with decades of experience in the financial sector, is a better choice, along with Mr Malik, who will be looking after the Energy sector.

Courtesy – Topline Pakistan Research 

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