News Analysis: Nawaz Sharif set to lead Pakistan for third time

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ISLAMABAD, May 12 (Xinhua) — Pakistan’s two-time Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif is set to lead the country again after unofficial results placed his party in a comfortable position against his political rivals.

As of 10:00 a.m. local time on Sunday, Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had reportedly secured 86 out of the 152 National Assembly seats, leading the elections by a big margin over other rivals.

Out of the 152 seats so far secured by different parties, 21 went to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) or Justice Movement, 15 to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), 9 to independent candidates, 8 to MQM, 4 to Jui-F, 2 to Jamat-e-Islami, 2 to Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and 5 to others.

The counting of the remaining 116 seats (four out of the 272 seats open for public contesting remained uncontested due to death of candidates and law and order situation) is still going on and it may take hours for the Election Commission of Pakistan to announce the final results. However, judging the share of the seats so far won by PML-N in the 152 seats, the PML-N is set to win the National Assembly elections.

Late Saturday night, Sharif emerged from the terrace of his home in Lahore to speak to his thousands of supporters who gathered to celebrate the victory.

“I want to thank and assure you all that I will honor all commitments I and my party leaders had made during the election campaign,” Sharif told cheering crowed.

Referring to some problems the country is currently facing, he invited all political parties to dialogue to find out solution to the problems so the nation could take a sigh of relief and lead a prosperous life.

Nawaz Sharif, who won two seats in the May 11 elections, has served as the country’s Prime Minister for two non-consecutive terms from November 1990 to July 1993 and from February 1997 to October 1999. However, his both governments were dismissed before completing constitutional term.

Former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, had last dismissed his government in 1999, and sent him into exile to Saudi Arabia.

Sharif will be leading Pakistan at a time when the country is facing some serious problems, including the worst energy shortage, violent extremism, corruption, bad governance and poor economic condition.

When he spoke to his supporters late Saturday night in what was described as “victory speech”, Sharif announced that he has already set an agenda in his mind to “steer Pakistan” out of the current situation.

Being a two-time prime minister, Nawaz Sharif has years of experience to deal with the challenges Pakistan is facing.

Analysts are of the view that Nawaz Sharif will mainly focus on economy as he had run his election campaign on economic agenda.

Suhail Warriach, a political commentator and columnist, said that the PML-N chief had himself highlighted his economic agenda during the campaign and now he has a golden opportunity to implement it.

He also said Nawaz Sharif will not have support of other party in government formation as he has secured majority to form government.

Political analysts are suggesting that the PML-N should try to form government without other parties as coalition set-up has never delivered well to the people in view of parties of different approaches. They say that the outgoing coalition government faced defeat as it had failed to deal with the problems in view of differences on issues.

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