Despite having reservation over rescheduling of presidential election, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday announced to contest the poll for the highest constitutional office of the country, scheduled for July 30.
The announcement came following a consultative meeting of the party chaired by PTI chief Imran Khan in Islamabad.
Addressing a press conference, Imran Khan said PTI would act like a real opposition, it would participate in the presidential elections and would not give Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) an open field.
Imran said though it was not against the Constitution, his party did not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision to hold the presidential polls ahead of the scheduled date.
Imran added that holding the elections earlier would provide no time to the candidate to launch reasonable election campaign.
Talking about PTI’s presidential candidate Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed, Imran said that he is a man of principles and would make a good president.
The nomination papers of PML-N presidential candidate Mamnoon Hussain and PTI candidate Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed were accepted by the Election Commission of Pakistan here and papers of Raza Rabbani were rejected due to his physical absence as well as those of his proposers at the time of scrutiny.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim who is serving as the Returning Officer was present at the venue to scrutinise and approve the nomination papers of the presidential candidates.
Some points were raised over the candidature of the PML-N’s Mamnoon Hussain as he is a member of political party and presidential election is non-partisan
However, the ECP was informed that PML-N’s Mamnoon Hussain had already announced to resign from the party membership after winning the presidential election. The ECP also approved the nomination papers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed.
Meanwhile, PPP sources said that ECP was informed in writing about the decision of the party to boycott the election.
JI supports PTI candidate
Jamat-e-Islami (JI) has decided to support PTI’s presidential candidate Justice (retd) Wajidhudin instead of joining the PPP in boycotting the presidential election, said Liaquat Baloch, JI secretary general, on Friday.
In a statement issued from the Jamat-e-Islami headquarters in Mansoorah, Lahore, Baloch said they have made this decision after deliberations with parliamentary party and its wing of Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa. He said PTI leaders Arif Alvi, Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry and Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed contacted the JI leadership in this regard. He said Justice Wajih was also the JI’s presidential candidate in 2008.
He said the PPP contacted the JI leadership through telephone for boycotting the election. He said the JI tried to bring a joint candidate from all opposition parties but the PPP has announced its one-sided boycott of the elections. He said the PPP did not take the JI into confidence and that it should not have boycotted the polls.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2013.