ISLAMABAD - Rejecting to extend support to Pakistan People’s Party’s presidential candidate, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leadership has decided to bring its own candidate in consultation with the opposition parties which had extended support to Shahbaz Sharif in the election of prime minister.
Sources in the party confirmed on Monday that PML-N central leaders were of considered view that they would not extend support to PPP candidate Aitzaz Ahsan and had shown similar sort of objections PPP leadership had raised on the candidature of Shahbaz Sharif and withdrew its support.
The sources in the party said that PML-N is ahead of PPP in numerical strength in the electoral college for presidential elections hence the party (PML-N) has the right to field its own candidate for the run of the top constitutional position in the parliamentary system.
PPP had not only withdrawn support to Shahbaz Sharif in the race for chief executive of the country but also they did not vote for PML-N candidate Hamza Shahbaz in the election of chief minister Punjab. Keeping in view their conduct how PML-N would extend support to their candidate, a senior PML-N leader said.
PML-N Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan had made it clear that PML-N would not extend support the PPP candidate and dubbed the PPP move of fielding its own candidate as an attempt to facilitate the ruling PTI.
He argued that if the PPP wanted to bring a consensus candidate for the slot why they had announced the name of Aitzaz Ahsan before even consulting the other opposition parties of the joint opposition.
A senior leader in PML-N said that they would be bringing their own candidate for the presidential race. Another PML-N source said that even if PML-N leadership decided not field its own candidate, the party MPs would not vote for PPP candidate.
The sources said that keeping in view the extreme position taken by PML-N and PPP against each other, JUI-F chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman is reluctant to take up the matter with the PML-N leadership. A couple of days back Asif Ali Zardari had requested the JUI-F chief to approach PML-N leadership to convince them on voting for the PPP candidate in the presidential election due to be held on Sept. 4.
Earlier, PPP has unilaterally decided to nominate Aitzaz Ahsan for the coveted post as head of state as the tenure of incumbent president Mamnoon Hussain is going to end next month and elections will be held on September 4.
On the other hand, the ruling PTI and its allies have already nominated Arif Alvi as the presidential candidate.