July 26, 2013 1:49:25 pm
Pakistan People’s Party today decided to boycott next week’s presidential election to protest over advancing of the polling dates. Senior PPP leader and presidential candidate Raza Rabbani said the rescheduling of the election date to July 30 from August 6 had drastically curtailed the time period needed for campaign.
The Election Commission had announced that the polls would be held on August 6,which falls on 27th day of the Muslim holy month of fasting which is considered as sacred.
Raja Zafrul Haq,Chairman of PML-N,had asked the court to change the date in a petition filed on Tuesday. The Supreme Court changed the schedule on Wednesday and shifted the election to July 30.
“This is violation of our rights and constitution as the court decided without hearing our views,” said Rabbani. The decision is not going to affect the outcome of the elections as PML-N candidate Mamnoon Hussain is already poised to easily win the contest.
The election will be held despite the boycott by a major party as several other candidates are also running,including one nominated by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf of former cricketer Imran Khan.
PML-N has so far not reacted to the decision of boycott. After scrutiny of paper,the final list of candidates will be issued on July 27. The President is elected by the four provincial assemblies and national Parliament. The new President will be sworn on September 8 and will replace incumbent Asif Ali Zardari.
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