Islamabad (September 04, 2018): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday completed preparations for the presidential election, due to be held today.
Polling stations were set up in all four provincial assemblies in addition to the National Assembly.
The ballot papers and other related equipment have also been shifted to the polling stations. The chief justices of high courts will serve as the presiding officers during the poll, while the chief election commissioner will serve as the returning officer.
The name of Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Aitzaz Ahsan is on the top of the ballot paper, while Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf candidate Arif Alvi is on the second position and Jamiat-e-Ulema (F) chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman’s name is printed on the third place, sources further added.A code of conduct for the presidential election has also been issued.
Members of the National and provincial assemblies will not be allowed to carry their phones while casting their votes.
On the other hand, the opposition is still divided over their candidate. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has fielded Aitzaz Ahsan for the top slot while the other opposition parties have nominated Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
None of them are willing to withdraw their candidate in favour of the other which has further widened the cracks in the alliance of opposition parties.
Ahsan and Rehman will face Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr. Arif Alvi,Voting for the election will be held in the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
The members have been directed to bring their CNIC’s with them. Chief Election Commissioner has asked presiding officers to ensure secrecy of ballot.
‘United opposition can cause upset’
Former speaker of National Assembly (NA) Sardar Ayaz Sadiq stated that a united opposition can cause an upset in the presidential elections.
PML-N president and former Punjab Chief Minister (CM) also shared same opinion.
Rehman said opposition parties had nominated him as their “joint candidate” for the slot of president.The JUI-F chief who was flanked by leaders of the opposition parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif, said he wanted a candidate “mutually agreed on by the opposition” to contest the elections.
However; former opposition leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah has maintained that the option of two presidential candidates was in favour of the government.
He said that the PPP leadership, including co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Qamar Zaman Kaira, were supporting Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan.
Shah expressed hope that Maulana Fazlur Rehman would accept the request to withdraw as candidate for the slot of president.