11 December 2023
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Opposition parties except Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have decided to field Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman for the post of the country’s president, sources told media on Monday.
Maulana Fazl will shortly submit his nomination papers in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), sources added. Meanwhile, PPP presidential candidate Aitzaz Ahsan submitted nomination papers at the IHC.
Earlier, opposition parties remained divided over PPP’s decision to nominate Ahsan for president.
The grand alliance of opposition parties met in Murree on Saturday to reach a consensus on a joint candidate for president. However, PPP rejected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s objections over Ahsan and decided to stick to its choice of candidate for the post.
Further, a meeting of leaders of both parties, held in the Parliament lodges late Sunday evening, remained inconclusive.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has named Dr Arif Alvi as its candidate for president.
PTI to benefit if opposition fields two candidates: Ahsan
Speaking to the media after submitting his nomination papers in the IHC, the PPP presidential candidate said that if the opposition remained divided and fielded two candidates for the post of the country’s president then the ruling PTI would benefit.
“PPP consulted other opposition parties before fielding my name for the post,” Ahsan said.
“I was not present for the party meeting in which it was decided to field my name for presidential candidate,” he added.
Responding to PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid’s reservations over fielding Ahsan, the PPP leader said, “PML-N leaders clarified that this is Rashid’s personal opinion and not party policy.”
“I respect Rashid but felt his demand was unnecessary,” he added.
Earlier on Friday, the PML-N leader had said the party would only consider supporting Ahsan in the presidential election if he visited Adiala jail and apologised to incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Last day to submit nomination papers
Today marks the deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers for the upcoming presidential election.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has asked candidates to file their nomination papers with presiding officers in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta till 12 noon.
The chief election commissioner will conduct scrutiny of the nomination papers in Islamabad on Wednesday at 10am.
Candidates will 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.

Abdul Gh Lone