ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday issued the final list of candidates for the coming presidential election. The July 30 polling will see a one-on-one contest between Mamnoon Hussain, candidate for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI). The ECP has also ordered the printing of ballot papers for the presidential election — 1500 ballot papers are to be printed for the occasion.
Twenty-three candidates had submitted their nomination papers from across the country for the presidential election, out of which only three were accepted. The nomination of Pakistan Peoples Party’s Raza Rabbani was also rejected after he failed to appear before the ECP following the PPP’s announcement to boycott the election.
Moreover, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra of the PML-N, who was a covering candidate for Hussain, withdrew his nomination following the acceptance of the candidacy of his party’s primary nominee.
Jhagra said his party was working towards an arrangement to convince the PPP to end its boycott of the presidential election.
Earlier on Friday, the PPP announced its boycott of the election in protest against the advancing of polling date from Aug 6 to July 30.
The election was originally scheduled for Aug 6 but the PML-N challenged it in the Supreme Court on the grounds that a large number of members of the national and provincial assemblies and Senate would find it difficult to cast their vote because some of them would be in Saudi Arabia to perform Umra and a number of others would be observing Aitekaf around that time.
The court in its first hearing on the petition ordered the ECP to change the date and hold it on July 30.