PESHAWAR: Lawmakers of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will cast their votes on Tuesday to elect the 13th president of the country for a five-year term.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has completed its preparations to hold presidential elections in the K-P assembly hall which has been declared a polling station for the elections.
The voting session is expected to begin at 10am and will continue until 4pm. It will be presided over by Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth as the presiding officer for the elections.
In this regard, Seth visited the K-P assembly on Monday and reviewed arrangements for the elections.
During Tuesday’s elections, of the 124 seats in the house, as many as 112 are expected to cast their vote as part of the electoral college.
The remaining 12 seats in the assembly are empty owing to postponed or cancelled elections and seats which were vacated by successful candidates.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), which has fielded its lawmaker Dr Arif Alvi as the presidential nominee, has 79 members in the house.
The joint opposition, including the likes of the Awami National Party (ANP), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has a total 33 votes in the assembly.
The PPP has nominated its former senator and prominent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan for the president’s seat while the PML-N and the MMA have thrown their weight behind Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Rehman had suffered a torrid general election after he failed to win any seat.
As per the formula, the PTI’s Dr Alvi is expected to bag 42 votes, while, Rehman — backed by most of the opposition —is expected to muster around 15 votes.
The PPP candidate is expected to receive three votes in the K-P assembly.
Last week the K-P assembly had voted on a resolution to declare the assembly hall as a polling station for the presidential elections.
The resolution had been moved by the K-P Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan.
Dr Alvi — during a campaign visit to the province on Thursday – had claimed that they were hopeful of punching above their weight and securing more votes than the number of lawmakers they or their allies have in parliament.
Talking about what the party intended to do in an unprecedented second term, Dr Alvi had said that their government in the province will struggle to further improve the current situation and resolve basic issues of K-P’s residents.
On a question about priorities, Dr Alvi stated that as president, he will try and stay within constitutional and legal bounds and would focus to work for non-political issues such as water, health, preventive medicine and other issues which plague the people.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2018.