PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER Yousuf Raza Gilani is today meeting with opposition leaders in an attempt to retain power, days after a junior partner in his multi-partner coalition joined the opposition and cost him his majority.
The Muttahida Quami Movement, which was the second-largest party in power with two cabinet ministries, pulled out of power last week citing political corruption, following the withdrawal of a second partner in earlier days.
Yesterday, crisis talks between the MQM and Gilani’s Pakistani People’s Party broke down – ending any hope that the outgoing coalition could be cobbled back together.
As a result, Gilani is today set to meet with the leaders of the country’s main opposition parties, hoping to reach agreements to stop them scuppering his government.
Though there is currently no prospect of a motion of no confidence being tabled against him, Gilani’s parliamentary minority now means that his ability to legislate is virtually null – leading to the prospect of potential early elections.
Al-Jazeera quotes an independent political analyst who believes the government still needs to demonstrate that it has the numbers in parliament to endorse its power.
The split with the MQM was still not final, he believed, because the MQM and PPP remained in coalition in two of the country’s biggest provincial legislatures.
Gilani’s Pakistani People’s Party became the largest in Pakistan’s National Assembly in 2008, ending six years of Pakistan Muslim League rule. The PPP last held the highest office in the country between 1993 and 1996, under the late Benazir Bhutto.