ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Pervaiz Rashid said that the Pakistan People’s Party decision of boycotting the presidential election was unfortunate.

Talking to media outside the Parliament House here Tuesday, he said the PPP had participated in the 2002 General Elections under a dictator which elected Pervez Musharraf as the president. He said that the holding of presidential elections was a constitutional responsibility which has been fulfilled.

The minister said Mamnoon Hussain would follow the constitution and law of the land after resuming the office. He said following the May 11 General Elections, the county had moved forward a long way and now the international companies are investing and stock exchange position has improved. He expressed the hope that the democracy would be strengthened during the next five years.

The minister said that 2-third of the Electoral College for the presidential election was taking part in the polls and a major opposition party the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf was also in the run.

About PPP leader Raza Rabbani, the minister said that his democratic credentials were very strong and hoped that he would maintain them. To a question, he said President Asif Ali Zardari was the constitutional president of the country and the PML-N respected him. “We are happy that President Asif Ali Zardari is completing his five-year tenure and we will also respect him in future too.”

To another question, he said the MQM has extended unconditional support to the PML-N in the presidential elections. He said the PML-N is doing the politics of principles. “We have respected the mandate of the people of the country and allowed other parties to form their governments where they have majority.”