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August 30, 2018

Presidential election: ECP approves nominations of Alvi, Aitzaz, Fazl

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August 30, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday approved after scrutiny nomination papers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Dr Arif Alvi, Pakistan People's Party's Aitzaz Ahsan and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman for the presidential poll.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza here scrutinised the nomination candidates appeared before the commission along with their proposers and seconders.

Apparently to Dr Alvi’s advantage, joint opposition failed to end differences over fielding a consensus candidate, as PPP decided that it would not withdraw its presidential candidate Aitzaz Ahsan. PML-N and other opposition parties have pitched JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as their presidential candidate.

Talking to journalists outside the Election Commission Secretariat, Aitzaz Ahsan expressed hope that he would win the September 4 election with the help of votes of conscience, as he claimed several of PTI and JUI-Fazal lawmakers would also vote for him.

“The Constitution only binds a lawmaker to vote as per party policy when it comes to voting on the budget, a constitutional amendment, or the election of the prime minister and chief ministers. The presidential election is a vote of conscience and lawmakers are bound to vote for me based on what their conscience tells them,” he noted.

The PPP candidate said he hoped that JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman would withdraw in his favour and added, “Fazlur Rehman is my friend and, as he says that any hasty decision should not be taken as final, I hope that he will withdraw in my favour".

He parried a question on a much-discussed statement made by Fazlur Rehman regarding the Independence Day celebrations and said that lawmakers would decide who was the fittest candidate for the presidency.

During media talk, Dr Alvi said that he would win the election with a significant margin. PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal regretted that the opposition should have fielded a joint candidate. He pointed out that his party had sacrificed its own candidate for fielding a united candidate of the opposition parties, but PPP did not agree to that.

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