Mamnoon set to make it to presidency today

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  • Tamed PPP lawmakers opt for ceremonial walkout from NA
  • PTI sticks to its stance of contesting against sure-winner PML-N
  • Kh Asif says the government did nothing unconstitutional
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Mamnoon Hussain, the candidate of the ruling PML-N and its allied parties, is all set to be elected as the country’s next president today with a majority vote, replacing PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari.

With Mamnoon Hussain, a political nobody, holding the forte in the presidential palace, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s hold on power is likely to cement.

Since the opposition parties stand divided, they are set to be thrashed with a huge margin today by the ruling coalition, despite the fact that the leaderships of its allied parties is not satisfied either with the PML-N policy of reconciliation and the recent visit of the ruling party’s top leaders to Nine Zero, the MQM headquarters.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed is the only candidate left in the field to challenge Hussain, while the main opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has opted for a poll boycott.

PPP’s major allies, including the Awami National Party (ANP) and Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A), have also announced boycotting the poll, making it an easy sailing for the PML-N candidate.

Hussain is a businessman of Karachi and has been loyal to the Sharifs – the only apparent feather he has in his cap.

His political weakness is considered his strength, as observers say the Sharifs want a political nobody who can never defy orders.

PPP WALKS OUT FROM NA

Meanwhile in parliament, PPP lawmakers looked tame on Tuesday and following a passionless speech by Makhdoom Amin Fahim, the party’s lawmakers walked out from the National Assembly in protest over rescheduling of presidential election.

The PPP is minority party in the NA as compared to majority lawmakers of the ruling PML-N and its allies.

Wearing a black arm-band, Fahim called into question the court verdict of rescheduling the presidential election.

“It was an election for the top constitutional office of the country. All parties had started political process after the announcement of the date. But the decision of the apex court disappointed us,” Fahim said on a point of order.

Earlier, the Question Hour was put off for next rota day as the opposition wanted to debate the court verdict.

“It was not an election for a union council but for an esteemed office. Comment on courts’ decisions is discouraged, but when the issue is of utmost importance, what should one do. Then one can only protest over such decisions,” he added.

“We also registered our protest before the government,” he said and added that the Election Commission was an independent institution that was not bound to obey the orders of other institutions.

“But the ECP, due to some of its weaknesses, itself threw the case to the apex court.”

He also described the decision as “pre-poll rigging” and said the situation forced them to boycott the presidential election.

Fahim also invited the major opposition party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, to join the boycott.

However, it was PTI leader Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi who responded to the questions raised by Fahim, saying his party agreed to the objections raised by the opposition in principle, but they wanted to contest the poll in protest so that the field might not have been left open for the PML-N candidate.

“The boycott could have been an easy option for us. But it could have not been a solution to issues. We decided to contest the election for the sake of democratic values. If we joined the boycott, even then the election would have been held,” he said.

Qureshi said, “We have reservations on negligence of the Election Commission and haste of the court in announcing the decision. But it does not mean that we shall boycott the democratic process.”

“The PPPP strategy is not right in our opinion. The government has numerical strength to win this election. This is a ground reality but it does not mean that we should get out of the race for fear of defeat.”

The PTI leader said presidential election was a constitutional responsibility and the ECP should have been well aware of its responsibility.

“But apparently, the ECP has been negligent of its duties. The commission should have prepared for the election well in time.”

“We do not object the wisdom of the Supreme Court in entertaining the petition but the decision should have been announced after hearing other stakeholders and the contestants,” Qureshi said.

“We respect the court decisions, but it should not have been announced in haste when the candidates had been nominated and started their campaign,” he said.

Qureshi said the PTI had proposed to the PPP to bring in a consensus candidate and invited the PPP to end the boycott and strengthen the democratic process by taking part in the presidential election.

Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif responded to the allegations raised by the opposition parties, saying the Supreme Court decision on presidential election was not arbitrary.

“The decision was according to law. However, it is right of the opposition to differ with the decision,” he said.

“The decision has not exclusively benefited our party. We had winning number whether the election for the office of the president was held on August 6 or July 30,” he added.

“I can understand that the period for canvassing was short. However, Khursheed Shah had not objected on cutting back the date, rather had expressed reservation on extending the date for election beyond August 6.”

The minister said he had also discussed with Shah the possibility of bringing a consensus candidate for the office of the president. “However, there was nothing unconstitutional to move the court. We approached the apex court in line with the law and the court has also not disfranchised any candidate or party.”

He said all the three candidates had appreciable role for upholding the law and the constitution and it could have been better if all parties agreed on one candidate.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Shame on PPP ,once people have rejected this party,then why it is playing negative role in the upcountry has got majority in Sindh because due to feudalistic system,Sindhis have no choice,but to vote onlyPPP otherwise thier property and life may.be in danger.No progress in Sindh,but blood shed is gifted in Sindh by PPP in their previous regime.

  2. One has to see when PMLN stops thanking MQM and start abusing the MQM after enjoying their unconditional support. I think MQM will remain a rival of parties belonging to elites and serving interests of elites.

  3. These middle class people are storming to power. MQM's mission is seen taking shape. Good luck to President.

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