ECP issues the final list of presidential candidates

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued the list of the presidential candidates after the deadline to withdraw their candidature ended at the 12 pm today. The EC had earlier announced that after the scrutiny, the final list of the candidates will be published on August 30. The Candidates had the right to withdraw their nomination papers until Thursday [Today], before the formal announcement.

On Wednesday, the ECP accepted the nomination papers of all three candidates contesting the presidential election. It is going to be a three horse-race among the PTI’s Dr. Arif Alvi, PPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan and Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the MMA for the presidential election to be held on September 4.

The Opposition parties except PPP decided to field Maulana Fazlur Rahman for the post of president of Pakistan after reaching a consensus over the name in Murree.

The scrutiny process of the candidate was completed and approved before the Chief Election Commissioner who would serve as the returning officer during the presidential elections. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has already called a joint sitting of parliament on September 4 for the election of new president. The term of the incumbent president Mamnoon Hussain would expire on September 4.

The elections were supposed to be held before August 8, but, the parliament and four provincial assemblies were yet to start a new term, which delayed the Presidents elections. The president is elected by an electoral college comprising members of the Senate, National Assembly, and the four provincial assemblies. Voting is held through a secret ballot.

Read more: Who will be the new President of Pakistan?

The so-called Grand Opposition Alliance failed to reach a consensus over the single opposition candidate after the rift emerged among the opposition ranks. The Opposition parties except PPP decided to field Maulana Fazlur Rahman for the post of president of Pakistan after reaching a consensus over the name in Murree.

JUI chief met MQM-P and GDA to convince them to vote for him. After the earlier snub over fielding candidate for presidential election, Fazal held a meeting with the PPP senior leadership including Asif Ali Zardari to persuade them to vote for him, but, things failed to materialize between the allies of the past.

Read more: Will PPP support Maulana Fazlur Rehman to become President?

JUI and PPP had a cordial relationship in the past, as former was part of the PPP government between 2008 and 2013. Amid the divided opposition and despite the efforts of PPP to stir controversy, and trigger debate over the conduct of PTI, Alvi looks poised to win the presidential elections.

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