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PPP, allies mull over presidential election boycott

PPP, allies mull over presidential election boycott

ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)- the second biggest opposition group in the National Assembly-is reportedly considering boycott of the presidential election.

PPP’s candidate for the president slot, Raza Rabbani on Thursday held meetings with the leadership of ANP, PPP (Sherpao) and PML-Q and discussed the boycott option, sources said.

“I’m meeting with different political parties to chalk out a strategy either to go to the election or to boycott it,” said Rabbani while speaking to reporters here.

He said that new schedule does not provide enough time for campaign as it would be impossible for him to visit all the provincial headquarters.

Meanwhile Awami National Party has supported the PPP candidate Raza Rabbani in the upcoming presidential election. This support was announced after a meeting of Mian Raza Rabbani with ANP chief Asfandyar Wali on Thursday.

Later talking to media Rabbani said that he is meeting with different political parties to chalk out a strategy either to go to the election or to boycott it following a decision taken by the Supreme Court to change the schedule of the polls.

He said an impression has been given that the electoral college for the Presidential poll is only Islamabad while in fact all the four provincial assemblies are included in the electoral college.

Rabbani said the new schedule does not provide enough time for his campaign as it will impossible for him to visit all the provincial headquarters and meet the members of the Parliament.

Asfandyar Wali questioned that is it the constitutional domain of the Supreme Court to announce the schedule of the Presidential election? If the answer is yes then there is no need of election commission.

ANP leader expressed reservations over the Supreme Court order to hold presidential elections on July 30, instead of August 6 as earlier announced by the Election Commission.

He said although his party has decided to support the candidature of Senator Rabbani, a decision to boycott the election in protest against Supreme Court judgment will be taken later on.

Separately, Rabbani-led PPP delegation met PML-Q Chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and discussed the presidential race. Both sides discussed the option of boycotting the presidential election, sources said.

Talking to media after the meeting, Shujaat Hussain expressed his desire for a consensus candidate for the presidential election. He said his party had to consult with other parties the strategy for presidential election. PPP leaders also held meeting with Qaumi Watan Party Chief Aftab Sherpao and discussed the issue of boycotting the presidential election. Aftab Sherpao on the occasion said that his party will take any decision after the meeting of the central executive committee tomorrow (Saturday).

Meanwhile, PPP’s senior leader Khursheed Shah contacted MQM’s parliamentary leader Farooq Sattar and reportedly exchanged views over a possible boycott of election.

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