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PTI’s consensus candidate against Arif Alvi remains a distant dream

PTI’s consensus candidate against Arif Alvi remains a distant dream

Islamabad: the head of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Fazl ur Rehman has become a joint candidate of the United Opposition without the People’s Party of Pakistan (PPP) for the office of the President of Pakistan challenging Pakistan Tehreek -e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr. Arif Alvi.
The former vice president of the Senate and senior leader of JUI-F Maulana Ghafoor Haideri presented the nomination documents of Fazl on Monday just before the deadline for the submission of documents.

The chief judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), Judge Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi, who is also the returning officer (RO) for the presidential candidate, received the nomination documents from Maulana Fazl ur Rehman.
Senior leaders of the opposition parties in the National Assembly and the Senate, Pakistan, Muslim-Nawaz League (PML-N), JUI-F, Awami National Party (ANP), National Party, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and others were present at the occasion.
PPP nominated its own candidate for the same position and its main member, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, submitted his documents earlier. However, he was flanked only by the leaders of his own party and none of the parties of the opposition alliance went to the IHC to accompany him to appear before the returning officer.

Appointing Fazl as their joint candidate is seeing the PML-N strategy to win the maximum number of votes in the presidential elections, which is scheduled for September 4, 2018.
PML-N leader Ameer Muqam is the candidate that covers Fazl.
Speaking to reporters after presenting their nomination documents, PML-N leader and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said the only objection against Aitzaz’s candidacy was that the PPP did not consult with other opposition parties before nominate him
“It had been decided at the Murree meeting of the opposition parties over the weekend that a consensus candidate would be nominated for the presidential election,” Ahsan Iqbal said.
According to Iqbal, all parties had asked the PPP leadership to suggest a panel of three names, one of which would be designated by the alliance through consensus. However, he said, the PPP leadership did not nominate anyone other than Ahsan.
“Aitzaz Ahsan was nominated without having confidence in the alliance parties,” said Iqbal, adding that PML-N management and workers had serious doubts about his nomination.
Although the opposition alliance had decided to nominate Fazl for the elections, Iqbal said they would appeal to the PPP to review its decision and support Fazl for the cause of keeping the opposition vote together.
The representatives of PPP and PML-N are determined to find a friendly solution to the current crisis, since a divided opposition will give a clear advantage to Dr. Arif Alvi, the presidential candidate of the PTI. “We will continue to make efforts until the last moment to prevent the United Opposition from collapsing,” said an opposition leader.

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