Islamabad, Aug 16 (PTI): Pakistan will hold presidential elections on September 4 to elect President Mamnoon Hussain’s successor at the end of his five-year-tenure, the election commission announced on Thursday.
Pakistan’s president is elected indirectly by the members of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies.
“Presidential election will be held on September 4,” the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said as it issued the schedule of the election. Voting is held through a secret ballot.
President Hussain’s term is set to end on September 9. According to the Constitution, the presidential election must be held at least a month prior to the expiry of the incumbent’s term, which in this case would have been August 8.
Normally, the presidential election is held either a month after the General Election, or at least a month before the expiry of the president’s tenure.
Holding a presidential election on August 8 was not out of the question this time as the National Assembly nor was the provincial assemblies functional after the July 25 general elections.
The candidates can file nominations by August 27 and the final list of contesting candidates will be issued on August 30, it said.
In Pakistan, the President is considered as a symbol of the federation and head of the state and exercises all powers on the recommendations of the prime minister.
Hussain, elected in September 2013, was a nominee of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by former jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Hussain’s parents migrated from Agra and settled in Karachi after the Partition.
A tough competition is expected between nominees of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Prime Minister-in-waiting and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and the joint opposition forged by the PML-N, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.
However, since the PTI has emerged as the single largest political party in the National Assembly and has significant numbers in the Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provincial assemblies, the party’s candidate could be the next President.