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Presidential Polls: Final List of Candidates To Be Issued Today

Islamabad (August 30, 2018): The Election Commission of Pakistan will issue the final list of candidates for presidential election today. 

According to ECP, candidates were allowed to withdraw their candidature by 12 noon today.

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Earlier on August 29, Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza accepted nomination papers of all the three candidates contesting the presidential election.

Dr Arif Alvi of PTI, PML-N backed Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan of PPP are the main contenders in the presidential election to be held on Tuesday (September 4).Earlier, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) announced that it will back Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) nominee Arif Alvi in the upcoming presidential election.

The BAP announcement came after a delegation of PTI leaders, including Alvi himself, federal minister Pervez Khattak, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Qasim Suri and others arrived in Quetta to muster support for the September 4 polls.

The PTI high command met with Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan — also the BAP chief — to secure his party’s support for the presidential election, where Alvi is expected to be up against joint opposition candidate Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PPPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan.

“We have decided to support the PTI candidate for the presidency,” Kamal told a press conference at the CM House.The PTI leaders assured its BAP allies that all-out efforts would be made to bring Balochistan at par with rest of the country in terms of development.

“We will address the grievances of the people of Balochistan,” Alvi promised.

The Balochistan CM added: “We will not make tall claims; rather, we will act to bring an end to the backwardness of the province.”

The PTI leaders also met with leaders of Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) to seek their endorsement for Alvi. The JWP chief Shah Zain Bugti and HDP chief Khaliq Hazara assured the PTI leaders of their support.When asked about the protocol of the Sindh governor in Quetta, federal minister Pervez Khattak stated: “People would laugh at us if we did not end protocol.”

He also requested the Balochistan chief minister to keep his protocol at a minimum for the benefit of the masses.

On the other hand, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief and another presidential candidate Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Wednesday met GDA and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)  to get their support and hoped that Grand Democratic Alliance Signaled positive for support his candidacy for president slot.

He made these views while talking to journalists in Karachi after meeting with the leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) ahead of the presidential election.

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“GDA head Pir Pagara asked for some time for the consultation with party leaders,” JUI-F chief said.

He admitted although opposition became united after the election, however, they delayed to bring the joint candidate for presidential election.

“PTI is a major political force but not majority party and JUI will take the struggle against rigging by joining hands with other opposition parties,” Maulana said.

He clarified that joint opposition has nominated him as its joint candidate and all parties will strengthen the democracy in the country.  Maulana Fazl also met Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and other MQM leaders at their head office in Bahadurabad, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) spokesperson Allama Owais Noorani said.

Maulana requested MQM for their support to him in the presidential election.

Talking to media persons on the occasion, Maulana said that he has enjoyed the experience of more than 38 years of parliamentary politics and was the most suitable candidate for the slot.The JUI-F chief has been fielded by the grand alliance of opposition parties except Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) for the presidential election.

Earlier on Monday, Maulana Fazl met PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and sought cooperation for the presidential election.

However, the PPP met on Tuesday to discuss cooperation sought by Maulana Fazl but decided that it would not withdraw its presidential candidate Aitzaz Ahsan.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Arif Alvi, PPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan and Maulana Fazl have submitted their nomination papers for the presidential election to be held on September 4.

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