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ECP announces schedule for presidential election

Candidates for country’s top constitutional office can submit nomination papers by March 2 before 12pm

— APP/File
— APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued the notice and schedule for the presidential election slated for March 9.

“In pursuance of the provisions contained in paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Second Schedule of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 read with clauses (3) and (4) of Article 41 of the Constitution, Public Notification for election to the office of the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is hereby issued and in relation thereto the following programme for receipt of nomination papers, scrutiny of nomination papers, withdrawal of candidature, publication of list of validly nominated candidates, retirement and the polling day,” read the notification issued today.

According to the ECP, the candidates for the country’s top constitutional office can submit nomination papers by March 2 before 12:00pm with the presiding officers in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.

The scrutiny for the nomination papers by the returning officers will be held on March 4, the notification said, adding that the candidature can be withdrawn the next day.

Afterwards, the commission will publish the list of validly nominated candidates the same day and March 6 has been fixed as the date for retirement.

The polling for the next president will be held on March 9 at the National Assembly and all the provincial assemblies from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Asif Zardari nominated

Meanwhile, the ruling coalition comprising PML-N, PPP, MQM-P, PML-Q IPP, BAP, PML-Zia and National Party has nominated Asif Ali Zardari for the president’s office. 

Out of 336, the alliance has 209 seats in the National Assembly so far while the opposition parties have 104 members with the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) being the largest party in the lower house.

In Punjab, PML-N is the largest political party with 194 seats while the PPP is in the majority in Sindh Assembly. Both the parties have also formed an alliance in the Balochistan Assembly.

Moreover, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, the SIC has over 85 lawmakers.

Zardari, who is competing for the presidency for the second time is in pole position to win the election and replace President Arif Alvi.

The opposition parties have not nominated anyone against PPP’s supremo.

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