Scrutiny of presidential candidates’ papers begins Wednesday

August 29, 2018

The scrutiny of the nomination papers of candidates contesting the presidential election will begin on Wednesday.

There are three candidates in the race to become the president as the PTI has fielded Dr Arif Alvi while the PPP’s Aitzaz Ahsan and Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the MMA have also filed their nomination papers. All three have been asked to appear before the election commission by 10am on Wednesday. They have been told to come bearing their CNICs and assembly cards. The chief election commissioner will serve as the returning officer during the presidential election.

The PPP’s bid to convince other parties to support Ahsan did not bear fruit. Despite this, Ahsan submitted his nomination papers before the Islamabad High Court. “I am the presidential candidate as per my party’s decision,” he said. “If the decision remains, I will stand by it.”

On the other hand, Rehman of the MMA enjoys the backing of the PML-N, ANP, MMA and PkMAP. “I am 100% confident that the PPP will agree to field me as the joint opposition candidate,” said Rehman. He also requested PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari to withdraw Ahsan in his favour.

The PTI’s Dr Alvi is positive about his victory with a majority. Party leader Jahangir Khan Tareen has also cut short his visit to the UK on Dr Alvi’s request and returned to Pakistan.

The election will be held on September 4. The last day to file nomination papers was August 27.

How the election works

So far, the government has a combined 361 votes while the joint opposition has 326 votes. This includes votes from independent candidates aligned with the parties and political alliances.

The PTI has the support of the MQM, BAP, BNP-Mengal, GDA, PML-Q, Awami Muslim League and Jamhoori Watan Party. The opposition comprises the PML-N, PPP, MMA and ANP.

In the National Assembly, the PTI-led government has 179 votes with the help of independent candidates. The joint opposition has 151 votes. In the Senate, the joint opposition has 66 votes to the government’s 36.

Each provincial assembly has a different number of seats, so to ensure equal representation in the election votes from each province are counted differently.

In Punjab, 5.44 votes are counted as a single vote. According to this, the government has 34 votes and opposition has 31.

In the Sindh Assembly, 2.43 votes are counted as one, so the opposition has 40 votes while the PTI-led government has 25.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1.7 votes are counted as one so the opposition has 19 and the government has 46.

In the Balochistan Assembly, each vote is counted as one, so the government has 41 votes, while the opposition has 19.