Awami League wins election, PPP refused to allow Sheikh Mujib as Prime Minister

December, 1970

In 1970 the Awami League, the largest East Pakistani political party, led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won a landslide victory in the national elections. The party won 167 of the 169 seats allotted to East Pakistan, and thus a majority of the 313 seats in the National Assembly. This gave the Awami League the constitutional right to form a government.

The nearest contender is Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of PPP, with a total of 81 seats in the National Assembly, and with a two-thirds majority from Sind.

Sheikh Mujib emerges as an undisputed leader of the Bangalees with 268 of the 279 seats in the East Pakistan Provincial Assembly going to the Awami League.

However, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (a Sindhi), the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, refused to allow Rahman to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Instead, he proposed the idea of having two Prime Ministers, one for each wing. The proposal elicited outrage in the east wing, already chafing under the other constitutional innovation, the “one unit scheme”.

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