Pakistan gears up to elect its 13th president, polling underway

ISLAMABAD: Voting is underway at National and provincial Assemblies to elect country’s 13th president on Tuesday (today).

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has officially nominated Arif Alvi, while Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has named Aitzaz Ahsan for presidential candidacy.

Whereas Maulana Fazl ur Rehman, is the joint candidate fielded by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), Awami National Party (ANP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and National Party.

PTI candidate Dr. Arif reached the Parliament House to cast his vote whereas other two contestants Aitzaz Ahsan and Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman cannot cast their votes since they are not a part of Senate.

The polling started off from 10am to 4pm in all assemblies across the country, according to a spokesman for the National Assembly Secretariat.

It is incumbent upon lawmakers to bring their assembly cards to cast their vote.

The duties of presiding officers are executed by the Chief justices of all High Courts whereas Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza is acting as returning officer for the presidential election.

Earlier in a day, ballot papers and all other relevant amenities have already been dispatched to the assemblies, serving as polling stations.

Presiding officer at National Assembly:

Voting for the presidential election has been started in the Parliament House with Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court superintending the electoral process.

Pakistan People’s Party leader Peer Fazal Shah, member of Standing Committee on Agriculture, cast first vote in National assembly.

Presiding officers at provincial assemblies:

In Punjab Assembly, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Justice Yawar Ali is presiding over the polling process while election commissioner Punjab, Zafar Iqbal Hussain, is performing duties as returning officer.

Former Punjab Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal turned out first to cast his vote at the assembly.

In Sindh Assembly, Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh is acting as  presiding officer.

Faryal Talpur, sister of former president Asif Ali Zaradri, cast first vote at the asssembly.

In KP Assembly, Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth is overseeing the election.

Abdul Wahid Siddiqui, leader of MMA party, turned out first to cast vote at the assembly.

In Balochistan Assembly, Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar is presiding over the polling process.

PTI presidential candidate Dr. Arif Alvi talks to media outside the Parliament House ahead of the presidential election. Source: PTV

I will easily win majority votes in the [presidential] polls: Arif Alvi

PTI presidential candidate Dr. Arif Alvi on asking who’ll win the elections, affirmed that he will win today’s presidential polls by a clear majority as some opposition members have also pledged support to me.

He was speaking to the media outside the Parliament House.

Further, Mr. Alvi assured that he will not be an inactive president and will contribute towards strengthening the centre.

“I will become the president of Pakistan without any bias or favouring any specific party,” he asserted.

“I will try to resolve issues such as water scarcity, health, illiteracy and justice as president of the country with the help of Allah,” Alvi further said.

He further thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for nominating him for the post of president.

 

The total members of National and provincial assemblies are 1,121 out of which National Assembly comprises of 330, Senate 102, Punjab assembly 354, Sindh assembly 163, KP assembly, and Baluchistan assembly 60 members.

 

 

 

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