PPP expresses reservations against SC order over presidential poll


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s main opposition party the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Wednesday expressed reservations over the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s order to hold the presidential poll on July 30.

PPP presedential candidate Raza Rabbani, flanked by other PPP leaders including Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Makhdoom Amin Faheem, and Aitzaz Ahsan addressed a press conference in Islamabad following the election commission’s announcement of a revised schedule for the presidential poll.

Rabbani said that the Supreme Court’s order was an attempt to render the presidential poll as meaningless.

He further said that the apex court had taken a one-sided decision without listening to the viewpoint of all stakeholders and only the viewpoint of the Pakistan Muslim league – Nawaz (PML-N) was catered to.

The senior PPP leader also said that the electoral college would have been incomplete even if the poll was held on the previously announced date of Aug 6.

He also said that despite of being a candidate yet he did not receive any notification regarding a change in the election schedule and then questioned if it was possible for a candidate from a middle-class background to campaign in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar within two days.

Speaking on the occasion Aitzaz Ahsan said that the change in the election schedule had affected the PPP’s presidential campaign.

Ahsan further said that if all the decision were to be decided by the court then the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Federal Interior Ministry should be disbanded.

The election commission had issued a revised schedule following the apex court’s order.

As per the revised schedule issued, the scrutiny process of the candidates’ nomination papers would take place on July 26.

The candidates will have the option of withdrawal of nomination papers until July 27 and the final list of candidates will also be issued on the same day.

Polling for the presidential office is scheduled to be held on July 30.

Earlier, the Supreme Court ordered for the presidential election to be held on July 30, after the ECP decided that it would not give a new date for the polls and left the matter in the hands of the court.

Nominations

The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has officially nominated Mamnoon Hussain as its nominee in the presidential election. Later, he submitted his nomination papers in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Pakistan Peoples Party’s candidate Senator Raza Rabbani has also submitted his nomination papers.

Earlier, the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Balochistan National Party – Awami (BNP-A) declared their support for the nomination of the senior PPP leader.

The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) candidate Justice Wajihuddin also submitted his nomination papers in the Sindh High Court (SHC).

According to report, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has decided not to field a candidate in the election and is likely to be supporting another party’s candidate in the presidential polls.

Senior PML-N leaders had earlier told that the former governor of Sindh was the front-runner among the party’s shortlisted candidates, followed by PM’s adviser on foreign affairs and national security Sartaj Aziz and former chief justice of Pakistan Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui.

Keeping in view the position of the Electoral College, the ruling party’s nominee is expected to emerge as the winner.