ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) Aitzaz Ahsan and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl's (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman have emerged as the opposition's nominees for the upcoming presidential elections and will compete for the coveted post against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Arif Alvi.
Aitzaz and Rehman submitted their nomination papers at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday. The PPP leader is supported by his party while Rehman is supported by other opposition parties.
Addressing the media after submission of nomination papers, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Ahsan Iqbal pledged his party's support for the JUI-F.
Aitzaz, speaking to the media, said PTI will benefit in the presidential elections if there are two candidates of the opposition. "The PPP did not announce the name before consulting other parties," Ahsan said, adding that he wasn't present in the huddle where his name was proposed.
He added that PML-N's Pervaiz Rasheed had raised objections to his candidature but the party said that those are Rasheed's personal views and don't reflect party policy. The presidential nominee added that he respects Rasheed but felt his demand was 'feudalistic'. Rasheed had earlier remarked that the PML-N will support Ahsan if he apologises to former premier Nawaz Sharif.
The senior PPP leader was accompanied by Sherry Rehman, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Khursheed Shah.
As the tenure of Mamnoon Hussain draws to a close, all members of the Parliament, provincial assemblies and the Senate would vote to elect the head of state.
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Rifts have appeared in the coalition of opposition allies as a decision could not be reached for a mutual presidential candidate.
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According to sources, the PPP opposed Rehman's nomination while others moved to nominate him as the opposition's candidate. Interestingly, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) suggested deposed premier Yousuf Raza Gillani's name for the slot as well.
On Sunday, the All Parties Conference (APC) failed to reach a consensus to pitch a mutual candidate. The rift was created when PPP refused to change their candidate leading the PML-N to pledge support for Rehman. PTI's Alvi also submitted his nomination to the IHC today as it is the last day to submit the nomination papers.
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