ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan on Wednesday hoped Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman will withdraw from the presidential race in his favour.
“Maulana Fazl is a friend and I respect him,” the PPP leader said while speaking to the media outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Islamabad after his nomination papers were approved for the presidential election.
“I hope the JUI-F chief will withdraw from the race and support me for the office of president,” he added.
The PPP presidential candidate further said, “I hope all parties will vote for me as this is a vote of conscience since the presidential election is held through a secret ballot.”
“Article 63-A of the Constitution states that MPAs and MNAs of a specific party have to vote for their party candidate,” he said.
Stating that this a time for ‘justice’, Ahsan added, “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has to do justice between candidates.”
Responding to a question regarding who is likely to win the presidential election, the PPP leader said, “Voters have to decide this and I hope some PTI leaders will also vote for me.”
Earlier today, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) scrutinised and approved the nomination papers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Arif Alvi, Ahsan and Maulana Fazl for the presidential election.
The opposition remains divided over fielding a consensus candidate as PPP has decided that it would not withdraw its presidential candidate Ahsan.
Meanwhile, the other opposition parties have fielded the JUI-F chief as their presidential candidate.
Candidates have until Thursday, August 30 to withdraw their nomination papers, after which the final list will be made public on the same day.
Polling for the presidential election will be held on September 4.
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.