Friday April 19, 2024

Presidential poll: Imran Khan fields Mahmood Khan Achakzai against Asif Zardari

PTI delegation met Achakzai late last month where they agreed to work together for Constitution’s supremacy

By Haider Sherazi
March 02, 2024
Chairman PkMAP Mahmood Khan Achakzai presented the autobiography of Khan Shaheed Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, My Life and Times, to PTI leader Asad Qaiser on Feb 29, 2024. — X/@MKAchakzaiPKMAP
Chairman PkMAP Mahmood Khan Achakzai presented the autobiography of Khan Shaheed Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, "My Life and Times", to PTI leader Asad Qaiser on Feb 29, 2024. — X/@MKAchakzaiPKMAP

ISLAMABAD: Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai Saturday was named as a candidate for the post of president by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

The SIC announced the decision today, nominating Achakzai as the contender for the coveted constitutional post against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

Zardari is a joint candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and other political parties who will be part of the coalition set to form a government in the Centre.

Achakzai won the National Assembly seat from the NA-266 constituency in Balochistan's Kila Abdullah-cum-Chaman.

PTI founder Imran Khan, who is incarcerated in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, has urged his party’s lawmakers to vote for the veteran politician.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan has confirmed the nomination of Achakzai for the presidential poll.

It should be noted that a PTI delegation, led by party leader Asad Qaiser, met with Achakzai and Balochistan National Party (Mengal) chief Akhtar Mengal earlier this week to seek their support in raising the voice against “rigging” in the general elections held last month.

During the meeting, Achakzai extended his party’s support for every political party that works towards the Constitution’s supremacy and empowering the Parliament.

Presidential election

According to a notification issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday, the presidential election is set to take place on March 9.

According to the schedule, the nomination papers for the presidential election can be submitted by noon today (Saturday), while the scrutiny of nomination papers will be completed by March 4.

Candidates who wish to withdraw their nomination papers can do so by March 5. Whereas, the final list of candidates will be published on March 6 after which the polling will take place.

At least five candidates have submitted their nomination papers for the presidential election.

Zardari's nomination papers were submitted by PPP leader Farooq H Naek, while PTI-backed SIC leader Latif Khosa submitted Achakzai’s papers.

Meanwhile, Advocate Asghar Ali Mubarak, an independent candidate Waheed Kamal and a citizen Abdul Quddus also submitted their nomination papers to run for the presidential polls.

Alvi’s tenure

On September 8, 2023, Dr Arif Alvi became the fourth democratically elected president to complete a five-year term. However, in the absence of the electoral college required to elect the president, he is still in office.

Under the law, the president is elected by members of the National Assembly, Senate and four provincial assemblies.

According to Article 44(1) of the Constitution, “the president shall hold office for a period of five years from the day he takes charge of office, but he shall remain in office until his successor is elected”.

The oath-taking ceremony for the president's office will take place after the election with Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa as the administrator.