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Friday, April 19, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

SIC names Achakzai its presidential candidate as election process begins

PPP submits nomination papers for Zardari
Mahmood Achakzai. PHOTO FILE
Mahmood Achakzai. PHOTO FILE

The Sunni Itehad Council (SIC) has named Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai as its candidate in the presidential election due to be held on March 9.

Achakzai will be competing against Asif Ali Zardari who is a joint candidate of PMLN, PPP and other parties.

The process for the election of the next president began on Saturday with ECP-appointed president officers receiving the nomination papers. ECP appointed the chief judges of the high courts in Sindh, KP, Balochistan and Islambad as the presiding officers on Friday. In Punjab, the ECP member will be the presiding officer.

Potential candidates have been told to submit their nomination paper before 12pm Saturday. The scrutiny will be held on March 4 and candidates will have until March 5 to withdraw from the race if any of them wanted to.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah submitted nomination papers on behalf of Asif Ali Zardari at the Sindh High Court on Saturday. A party spokesperson said Murad Ali Shah was the proposer in the nomination papers that were seconded by Nasir Hussain Shah.

PTI sources said Imran Khan had approved Achakzai’s name as the party’s candidate.

Other sources within the party claimed Khan was yet to grant his assent and will likely do so when party leaders meet him later today.

PTI’s Sher Afzal Marwat indicated in a television appearance on Friday that the party was going to nominate Achakzai as its candidate in the presidential election.

PTI-backed lawmakers have joined SIC in the national and provincial assemblies. Hence, the SIC nominee is essentially a PTI nominee.

The incumbent president, Arif Alvi, who is from PTI, has already completed his five-year term but continues to serve as the president until the election of his successor.

The new president will be elected by an expansive electoral college that comprises all the lawmakers in the national and provincial assembly as well as in the Senate of Pakistan.

While PTI has a majority in the KP Assembly, other assemblies are dominated by PMLN and PPP.

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