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September 5, 2018

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Alvi now President of entire nation, all parties


ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate, Dr Arif Alvi, backed by allied parties was elected the 13th President of Pakistan on Tuesday, as a divided opposition, which had fielded two candidates separately, also went to his credit

Dr Arif Alvi faced the Pakistan People’s Party’s Aitzaz Ahsan and the rest of opposition's Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Dr Alvi secured 212 votes from the Senate and the National Assembly, while his closest rival Fazlur Rehman got 131 votes and Aitzaz pocketed 81 votes. If Aitzaz's 81 votes are added to Maulana's 131 votes, it would have equalled Alvi's total votes at the Parliament House. This clearly shows had the opposition parties agreed on fielding a consensus candidate, it could have been a nail-biting finish at the Parliament House.

The Parliament House and the four provincial assemblies were declared the polling stations for the polling. The electoral exercise that began with the general elections on July 25 formally came to an end with the conclusion of the presidential election.

From the Punjab Assembly, Alvi got 186 votes, Fazlur Rehman 141 votes and Aitzaz six votes out of 351 votes cast during the official polling time i.e. 10:00am to 04:00pm. Likewise, from the Sindh Assembly, Aitzaz received 100 votes, followed by Alvi who secured 56 votes and the Maulana received one vote. Hence, out of 163 votes, 158 were cast, while five legislators abstained.

From the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, the PTI candidate pocketed 78 votes, Fazl got 26 votes and Aitzaz got five votes.

From the Balochistan Assembly, Alvi got 45 votes, Fazl received 15 votes and Aitzaz secured one vote. Out of 61 legislators, 60 exercised their voting right. A statement was issued voting right.

A statement was issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on behalf of Chief Election Commissioner Justice (R) Sardar Muhammad Raza, who was the returning officer with regard to the presidential poll.

“According to the result count, the number of voters who have actually exercised their right to vote is 1,110. Out of these, 27 votes have been declared invalid by the respective presiding officers. The total number of valid votes cast is 1,083,” it says.

Six votes were rejected at the Parliament House, 18 at the Punjab Assembly, one at the Sindh Assembly, two at KP Assembly and five legislators at the Sindh Assembly abstaining from the poll process.

The Election Commission said that on the basis of total valid votes cast in favour of each candidate, the result has been determined in the light of the provisions of Paragraph-18 of the Second Schedule of the Constitution, according to which Arifur Rehman Alvi has secured 352 votes, while Fazlur Rehman got 185 votes and Aitzaz Ahsan received 124 votes.

“The official result of count on Form-VII shall be prepared and forwarded to the federal government today (Wednesday) after receipt of the original record from the presiding officers for issuance of the formal notification by the federal government,” it said.

It is pertinent to mention that that the total number of seats in the electoral college was 1,174, out of which 52 seats were vacant, result withheld, or oath was not taken by the returned candidates in the Senate and the assemblies. The remaining 1,122 legislators were to exercise their right to vote in the presidential election.

The PTI candidate secured a total of 353 votes, Fazl got 185 and Aitzaz got 124 votes. Prime Minister Imran Khan cast his vote and Alvi also exercised his right to vote. However, the other two candidates i.e. Fazl and Aitzaz are not members of any legislature and hence could not exercise their voting right.

During chat with journalists after the election, Alvi thanked Almighty Allah that the PTI nominee was elected as president. Alvi also thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for reposing confidence in him.

"I have nothing in this, my affiliates made me contest the election," he remarked and expressed gratitude to all those who voted for him.

Alvi was quite hopeful that the fortunes of the poor take a turn for the better, and that they get food, shelter and clothing. He also said, "From today, I am not just a president that was nominated by the PTI, but I am the president of the entire nation and all parties. Each party has an equal right on me."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated Alvi on his election as the President of Pakistan. “Congratulations to Dr Alvi on being elected as president,” the prime minister said in a tweet posted on his Twitter handle. The prime minister in his tweet also shared an old picture showing a young Dr Alvi sitting next to him. “When our world was younger!”, reads the tweet along with the picture.

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