PPP boycotts presidential polls

Friday, July 26th, 2013 12:17:03 by

Pakistan Peoples Party y Friday announced boycott of the presidential elections as a protest against change in the election date.

The Election Commission of Pakistan had previously set August 6 for the presidential elections, however, the Supreme Court ordered the elections to be held on July 30th on a request by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).

The PML-N had approached the apex court to change the polling date, arguing that many lawmakers will be in Saudi Arabia on August for worship in the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan and would be deprived of their right of voting.

The opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) objected the court verdict and said that the party was not heard in the case and that the court delivered ‘one-sided’ decision.

The PPP presidential candidate, Senator Raza Rabbani, announced boycott at an emergent press conference at the party’s central secretariat in the presence of top leaders.

“The one-sided court verdict left no option with us but to boycott the presidential elections and this electoral process,” Rabbani said.

The opposition leader said that the court verdict made it impossible for him to run election campaign in few days.

The PPP candidate had earlier refused to appear before the Chief Election Commissioner for scrutiny of the nomination papers within the stipulated time.

Candidate of the PML-N, Mamnoon Hussain, and candidate of another key opposition party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf justice (retired) Wajihuddin Ahmed, appeared before the Chief Election Commissioner in Islamabad during the scrutiny of their nomination papers.

The Chief Election Commissioner, Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, accepted nomination of the two candidates.

Rabbani said that he had filed nomination papers and had started campaign and also won support of some opposition parties but the ruling party knocked at the doors of the Supreme Court and accepted the date proposed by the ruling.

 “It is mentioned in several courts verdicts that all stakeholders will be heard in cases but in this case the Supreme Court did not hear him and other presidential candidates,” Rbbani complained.

He also lashed out at the Election Commission of Pakistan for abdicating its right to the Supreme Court.

The opposition boycott will be a huge embarrassment for the government as it could lead to political tensions between the ruling party and the opposition.



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