PML-N’s Mamnoon Hussain and PTI’s Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed are set to square off in a one-on-one contest, it became clear as the Election Commission of Pakistan issued the final list of candidates for the presidential polls.
Only Mamnoon and Justice Wajih are valid candidates for the election to the office of the president of Pakistan, announced Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakharuddin G Ebrahim on Saturday.
Of the 24 nominations received by the ECP, 20 were rejected. Only Mamnoon, his covering candidate Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, and Justice Wajihuddin cleared the scrutiny process.
Although his party has announced a boycott of the presidential election, PPP’s Senator Raza Rabbani was disqualified for failing to appear before the returning officer during the scrutiny of his nomination papers.
Jhagra, meanwhile, withdrew his nomination in favour of Mamnoon. The Commission had allowed the candidates until 12pm Saturday to withdraw their nominations.
According to the ECP, most of the rejected candidates did not have members of Parliament or provincial assemblies as their proposers or seconders. The rules for presidential elections stipulate that any Muslim citizen of Pakistan over the age of 45 is eligible to contest the polls if his proposer or seconder is a member of Parliament.
According to ECP officials, one candidate from Karachi Shakil Ahmed Khan had listed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as his proposer and President Asif Ali Zardari as his seconder. Neither of them endorsed his nomination in person and as such his papers were rejected, they added.
No one filed nominations from Quetta, while the sole candidate to file his papers from Peshawar was rejected for lacking a seconder and proposer. The election will be held on July 30.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2013.