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ECP Approves Alvi, Fazl, Aitzaz’s Nomination Papers

Islamabad (August 29, 2018): Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday scrutinised and approved the nomination papers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Arif Alvi, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Aitzaz Ahsan for the presidential election and PML-N’s candidate Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan scrutinised the nomination papers as Ahsan, Alvi and Fazlur Rehman appeared before the commission.

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The opposition remains divided over fielding a consensus candidate as PPP has decided that it would not withdraw its presidential candidate Ahsan.

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According to the sources, The party members met to discuss Fazl’s request and take a final decision on a presidential candidate and decided that it would not support joint opposition candidate Moulana Fazl Rehman and stick to its own candidate Choudhry Aitzaz Ahsan.

Former President and Co-Chairman PPP said that Pakistan Peoples Party believes in politics of principals. He said that PPP is pursuing its own political agenda.

Sources said the meeting reviewed possible repercussions and political gains of supporting Fazl as consensus candidate, however, PPP members opposed Ahsan’s withdrawal from the race.Earlier on Monday, talking to media in Islamabad, the chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and MMA president Fazlur Rehman expressed hope that PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari would reconsider his decision and have his party vote for him in the September 4 presidential election, despite increasing rift among the opposition parties.

Soon after senior PPP leaders blamed the PML-N and the media for the growing fissures within the opposition ‘alliance’, and seemed all but resigned to not reaching a consensus over a presidential candidate, Rehman — the opposition’s presidential nominee — said he would try and convince Zardari to back him.

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“The PPP did not vote in the prime minister’s elections, which resulted in Imran Khan becoming the PM by four votes,” Rehman said in a press conference in Islamabad. “The act of dividing up the opposition is not popular in the public.

“It will be our effort to take him (Zardari) in confidence and convince him to reconsider his decision so that a joint candidate could contest.”

The JUI leader said he “would like to meet Zardari today” to convince him to withdraw PPP nominee Aitzaz Ahsan’s candidacy in his favour.

Rehman said he and PML-N both “wanted the opposition’s prime minister candidate to be from the PPP.“However, the PPP people themselves said that the PM candidate should be from the PML-N. When a consensus was reached, then [the PPP] decided not to vote, which dispersed the opposition, and turned our hope — our decision to go into the parliament and turn the tables — into disappointment and despair.”Candidates have until Thursday, August 30 to withdraw their nomination papers, after which the final list will be made public on the same day.

Polling for the presidential election will be held on September 4.

The president is elected by an electoral college comprising members of the Senate, National Assembly, and the four provincial assemblies. Voting is held through a secret ballot.

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