Presidential elections: PML-N picks Mamnoon Hussain for top job

Published: July 24, 2013

“I belong to Karachi. If elected, I’ll try to resolve Sindh’s issues and restore peace in Karachi,” says PML-N nominee, Mamnoon Hussain. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD / KARACHI: 

While the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is approaching other opposition groups in a bid to enlist their support for its presidential candidate, Senator Raza Rabbani, the PML-N’s has narrowed down its options to Mamnoon Hussain.

Hussain confirmed on Tuesday that he has been officially picked by the PML-N. “The party collected nomination papers for me on Monday which I’ll personally submit before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) chief justice on Wednesday,” he told Daily Express in Karachi.

Sources in the PML-N also confirmed that Hussain has nominated informally for the top slot. Officially, the party would announce his name at a meeting Wednesday morning. Hussain is a senior vice president of the PML-N and former governor of Sindh. If elected, Hussain would be the 11th president of Pakistan.

Earlier Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Justice (Retd) Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui were also on the list of PML-N nominees.

According to the schedule announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), nomination papers for the presidential elections will be submitted today (Wednesday) with the high court chief justices.

“I belong to Karachi. If elected, I’ll try to resolve Sindh’s issues and restore peace in Karachi,” Hussain told Daily Express. “Development and progress will begin from Sindh,” he added.

On the other hand, the Awami National Party (ANP) and Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A) have decided to support PPP’s nominee Senator Raza Rabbani.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the three political parties chaired by Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah. The meeting was attended by PPP’s Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Qamar Zaman Kaira, ANP’s Afrasiab Khattak and BNP-A’s Senator Kalsoom Perveen.

The PPP also approached other opposition parties, including PML-Q and JUI-F, to garner support for Senator Rabbani. A party delegation, comprising Fahim, Shah, Kaira and Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, met with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to enlist his party’s support. Though the PML-Q has already nominated Senator Saeedul Hassan Mandokhel for the president’s slot, Shujaat told the media after the meeting that his party would withdraw its candidate in favour of Rabbani.

The delegation also met with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who, however, was non-committal. He told the PPP delegation that his party favoured a ‘consensus candidate’ from either the government or the opposition. A consensus candidate is highly unlikely as the two major opposition parties – the PPP and PTI – have already decided to field their own candidates.

“Since both PML-N and PPP desire to evolve consensus on one candidate, it will be a good omen for the federation if a joint candidate is agreed upon,” said the Maulana. At the same time, he voiced appreciation for Senator Rabbani’s services to the cause of democracy and constitutionalism. Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the second biggest opposition group in the National Assembly after the PPP, has nominated Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed as its presidential candidate, PTI leader Asad Umar confirmed to The Express Tribune.

The PPP will also contact Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and PTI to evolve consensus on Senator Rabbani. MQM’s senior politician Wasay Jalil said the party has yet not taken a decision. “We will discuss the issue tonight or tomorrow and then decide our strategy for the presidential election,” he added.

Senator Rabbani will submit his nomination papers with the Islamabad High Court chief justice on Wednesday. “Though it is not possible for the opposition candidates to win the presidential election, the PPP is trying to forge unity among opposition groups to show that they have a reasonable mandate to counter the PML-N in any election,” a PPP leader told The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.

Reader Comments (15)

  • Javeed
    Jul 24, 2013 - 3:45AM

    Sir,
    I am surprised that Mr.Rabani as I consider very thorough gentleman has accepted to contest for presidential election. He should not accept the tricky offer as every even child knows except Mr. Ihtazaz that it is a waste try. When ppp was in power they did not allow him to become the chaiman of senate which can be won very easily but now just to fill the blanks they forwarded his name. God bless ppp.

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  • Hashim
    Jul 24, 2013 - 4:09AM

    if elected he will become 12th president of PAKISTAN.Do some research before putting pen on paper.

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  • huh
    Jul 24, 2013 - 5:09AM

    Never heard of him.

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  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Jul 24, 2013 - 5:37AM

    And then they talk about mending relations with Baluchis, It should have been some one from Baluchistan. As a matter of fact, the Presidency should rotate among the provinces as a gentleman’s agreement and the President should remain absolutely neutral, Zardari had done so much damage that it will take years to bring it back to the level of neutrality and even handedness. Good luck Pakistan, you need it. A president from PPP should be out of question because Zardari will be interfering and lurking in the back ground.

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  • Karim
    Jul 24, 2013 - 8:14AM

    Seems he would turn out to be another Rafiq Tarar!

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 24, 2013 - 9:08AM

    I wish all the best to Mr. Manoon Hussain.

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  • Abdullah
    Jul 24, 2013 - 9:32AM

    Another servant in Sharif’s kingdom!!!

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  • GAP
    Jul 24, 2013 - 9:41AM

    Could have been a lady. Meera is my choice.

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  • asim
    Jul 24, 2013 - 9:44AM

    Another industrialist to protect the interests of Nawaz sharif

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  • GS@Y
    Jul 24, 2013 - 10:13AM

    While it’s a completely ceremonial position, it would still have been better if the PML-N had chosen a respected, well-known national statesman or civil society figure instead of an obscure party loyalist. Although Mr. Huassin may be a gentleman, the president of the Federation should still be reasonably well-known and widely respected. It’s only fitting. Although Pratibha Patil in India was an example of a somewhat obscure, safe choice for president in a parliamentary democracy; so such a nomination is not entirely unheard of.

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  • Saim
    Jul 24, 2013 - 10:22AM

    PTI should nominate Imran Khan as their presidential candidate and IK will have a good chance of getting elected as PML N doesn’t have enough majority. Imran Khan will make the President this country never had!!

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  • Jul 24, 2013 - 10:27AM

    @Karim:
    so they should try you instead of himRecommend

  • cmabid
    Jul 24, 2013 - 7:02PM

    @GAP like ur comment.
    Though I greatly respect Mr. Rabbani, PPP and PTI should find consensus candidate in Justice Wajihuddin Ahmad.
    Rabbani is not a bad choice either.

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  • Imran
    Jul 24, 2013 - 8:47PM

    abolish this office and its expenses

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  • Jul 27, 2013 - 3:46AM

    “I belong to Karachi. If elected, I’ll try to resolve Sindh’s issues and restore peace in Karachi,” Hussain told Daily Express. “Development and progress will begin from Sindh,” he added.

    Mr Mamnoon Hussain probably doesn’t know (a) that he will only be a ceremonial Head of State with no executive authority and (b) that he will be representing the federation of Pakistan, not the Sindh province.

    Mian Nawaz Sharif should brief his nominated candidate on his constitutional role to prevent pitfalls later.

    Mumtaz A. Piracha
    Founder/Chairman
    Good Governance Forum
    http://www.goodgovernanceforum.com
    Email: goodgovernanceforum@gmail.com

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