ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court, on the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan, has decided that the presidential elections will be held on July 30 instead of August 6, Express News reported on Wednesday.
A revised schedule of the presidential elections has been released by the ECP.
Information Minister Pervez Rashid said that objections could be raised for delaying presidential elections but not for holding it earlier, Radio Pakistan reported.
The last day to withdraw nomination papers is July 27, instead of July 29 according to the new schedule.
The Supreme Court had asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to review July 30 as a day for presidential elections if there were no legal obstacles.
The ECP said it would have no problem with a date decided by the supreme court. According to the ECP, the final decision should be made by the court.
A three member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was formed to hear a petition filed by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) senator Raja Zafarul Haq.
Haq had filed the petition in the Supreme Court on June 23 to seek an earlier date for the presidential election as the ECP had refused to postpone it.
The petitioner had prayed to the court to direct the ECP to change the date of the presidential election from August 6 to July 30.
Earlier the ECP had stated that it was not constitutionally possible to hold early elections.
Calling it a one-sided decision, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) presidential candidate Raza Rabbani said the court order deprives him of his right to campaign across Pakistan.
Flanked by Amin Faheem and Aitzaz Ahsan, Rabbani held a press conference in Islamabad.
He said with only two days left for campaigning, he won’t be able to travel to all the four provincial capitals to convince the electorates.
Rabbani said the apex court should have heard all the stakeholders before issuing this order.
The list of nominated presidential candidates can be assessed here.