Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani (2nd R, seated), a candidate for the country's upcoming presidential election, speaks while flanked by party leaders Ameen Fahim (2nd L), Aitzaz Ahsan (L) and Khurseed Shah (R) during a news conference in Islamabad on July 26, 2013. — Photo by AFP
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani. — Photo by AFP
Opposition Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani (R), a candidate for the country's upcoming presidential election, speaks while party leader Ameen Fahim (L) looks on during a news conference in Islamabad on July 26, 2013. — Photo by AFP
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Friday announced its decision to boycott the upcoming presidential election, DawnNews reported.
PPP's former Law Minister of Sindh, Ayaz Soomro, informed the Chief Election Commissioner in writing about the party's decision to boycott the presidential election.
Addressing a press conference in the federal capital city PPP's presidential candidate and senior leader Senator Raza Rabbani said that his party was left with no other option but to boycott the poll.
Rabbani thanked other opposition partners for their support and said their favours could never be repaid.
The Awami National Party (ANP) and the Balochistan National Party - Awami (BNP-A) also announced a boycott of the presidential poll.
Senator Haji Adeel, belonging to the Awami National Party, said that his party had already announced that it would support any decision taken by the PPP.
He further said that the court had taken a 'one-sided decision' which was 'unjust.'
DawnNews reported sources as saying that the Pakistan Muslim League - Quaid (PML-Q) had also decided to boycott the election for president.
The main opposition party's decision came as it said that enough time was not given to campaign for the presidential election.
The Election Commission of Pakistan had originally announced Aug 6 as the date for the presidential poll. The ruling Pakistan Muslim Legue - Nawaz (PML-N) had then written to the election commission requesting to delay the polls as the announced presidential elections were falling in the last ten days of Ramzaan, when most of the lawmakers were to be busy performing Umrah or sitting in Aitekaf.
The ECP rejected the government's request following which the PML-N filed a request in the Supreme Court of Pakistan seeking to hold the presidential elections before the last ten days of Ramazan.
The apex court later decided in favor of the PML-N and agreed to the July 30 sought by the government.
Pakistan's largely ceremonial president is not elected by popular vote, but by the lawmakers in the Senate, National Assembly and the assemblies of the four provinces.
The PPP had fielded Raza Rabbani as it presidential candidate whereas the PML-N is contesting Mamnoon Hussain.
The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf has nominated Justice (retd) Wajihuddin and its party chief Imran Khan announced on Friday evening that the PTI, after holding consultations, had decided not boycott the presidential election.
Chief of the Awami Muslim League (AML), Shiekh Rasheed Ahmed, said that his party would also boycott the polling for the post president.