ISLAMABAD - Political parties in the opposition remain divided over fielding a joint candidate for the presidential election, scheduled to take place on September 4.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which nominated Aitzaz Ahsan as its presidential candidate, is sticking to its choice and has rejected the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s objections to its choice.

Veteran PPP leader Khursheed Shah said earlier today that he is hopeful PML-N will make a positive decision after taking into consideration his party’s choice.

PML-N and PPP will have to resolve their differences and move forward together, he said, adding that PPP’s candidate for presidency is the candidate of all of Pakistan.

Meanwhile JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has agreed to support PPP. Fazl also asked PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif to show flexibility towards PPP nominee. 

On Saturday, political leaders said that opposition parties had agreed to field a joint candidate in the presidential election.

Speaking to media after a conference of opposition parties held in Murree, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said the name of the candidate would be announced on Sunday (today) as PPP members had asked for some time to take their leadership into confidence over the discussion.

In the latest development, PML-N has suggested that it would support PPP leader and former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani for the slot.

According to sources, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif agreed on Gilani’s name.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has asked candidates to submit their nomination papers for the presidential election by Monday, August 27.

Candidates can file their nomination papers with presiding officers in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta till 12 noon.

The Chief Election Commissioner will conduct scrutiny of the nomination papers in Islamabad on Wednesday at 10am.

Candidates will have until Thursday, August 30 to withdraw their nomination papers, after which the final list will be made public on the same day.

Polling for the presidential election will be held on September 4.

The president is elected by an electoral college comprising members of the Senate, National Assembly, and the four provincial assemblies. Voting is held through a secret ballot.