ISLAMABAD: In the presidential election that has become controversial by the PPP boycott, PML-N’s candidate Mamnoon Hussain appears to emerge as clear winner on Tuesday.
About 148 of the 674 electoral votes would not be polled because of the boycott by the PPP, ANP, PML-Q, BNP-A and AML.
After the last-minute decision of the QWP of Aftab Sherpao and the PML-Q’s Balochistan chapter to vote for Mr Hussain, the PML-N is likely to bag 414 votes – in the event of 100 per cent turnout.
If the JUI-F also decides to vote for the PML-N candidate his tally will go up to 448.
Of the 520 votes expected to be polled, the PML-N will require 263 votes to win – a target the party is now in a position to achieve with its own 281 electoral votes.
The MQM, PML-F, PkMAP, QWP, NPP, NP, PML-Z, AJIP, JQM and independents will also support Mr Hussain.
Even if the JUI-F, BNP-M, APML and MWMP, which collectively have 38 electoral votes, decide to support the PTI its candidate retired justice Wajihuddin Ahmad may not poll more than 200 votes.The voting will take place simultaneously at a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament in Islamabad and in the provincial assemblies in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar.
An official of the Election Commission of Pakistan said on Monday that under Article 12 of the second schedule, the election would be held by a secret ballot. Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim has directed all presiding officers to ensure that the secrecy of the ballot was not violated.
He said the voters would not be allowed to enter the polling area carrying mobile phones or any other electronic device through which pictures could be taken.
He said the names of voters will be called out in alphabetical order. Soon after receiving the ballot paper, the voter would be required to proceed to the place reserved for marking the ballot paper with a cross against the name of a candidate with a copying pencil to be provided by the presiding officer.
He said any mark other than a cross would nullify the vote. He said a ballot paper shall be invalidated if it carried any name, word or mark by which the voter might be identified; if it does not contain initials of the presiding officer; and if it does not contain any mark or if a mark is placed against the names of more than one candidate.
He said the voter should carry with him the identity card issued by the secretariat of the respective house and produce it if asked by the presiding officer to prove his identity.
Before the commencement of polling, a candidate may appoint not more than one agent for observing voting and counting by giving a notice in writing to the presiding officer.
Any person who fails to obey any lawful orders of the presiding officer may immediately, by the order of the presiding officer, be removed from the place of polling and the person so removed shall not, without the permission of the presiding officer, re-enter the place.
Immediately before the commencement of the poll, the presiding officer shall ensure that the ballot box to be used is empty, show the ballot box to the candidates or their agents, close and seal the ballot box so that its slit is open and place the ballot box within his sight for the purpose of polling.