Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its allies should not have boycotted the presidential elections on ‘flimsy grounds’.
“With tomorrow’s presidential election, a new president will be stepping into the shoes of its predecessor and this should have been taken in the right stride by the opposition parties,” the premier told a meeting of Pakistan Muslim League’s Parliamentary Party at the Parliament House.
“A democratic era has ushered in the country and we have to move on this democratic path steadfastly and with courage by upholding the sanctity of the ballot,” he added.
The premier also referred to the first successful democratic transition in the country as a result of the May 11 general elections. This symbolises the upholding of democratic principles and must be taken forward by all political parties, he said. “We’ve left behind the politics of the late 1980s and 90s which was largely based on personal vendetta.”
Nawaz described the PML-N’s presidential nominee, Mamnoon Hussain, as ‘a man of integrity and commitment’ who is capable of holding the office of president. “His election will add to the respect and dignity of the party, its allies and Pakistan,” he said.
The prime minister hoped that Mamnoon would live up to the expectations of the party and the nation. He also exhorted the parliamentary party members to come on time on Tuesday to cast their vote in the presidential elections.
On this occasion, Mamnoon also canvassed the parliamentarians to vote in his favour. Describing the office of president as a ‘symbol of the federation’, he pledged to serve the country and its people after his election to the coveted office.
Premier Nawaz also briefed the parliamentary party about his recent visit to China. Referring to the agreements signed during the trip, he said their implementation would turn out to be a ‘game changer’ for Pakistan and the region.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.
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