Pakistan is all set to have a new head of state today (July 30, 2013). Two houses of Parliament and four provincial legislative assemblies constitute Electoral College for election of President. Members of both houses of parliament are entitled for one vote each. However, all provincial assemblies have different strength and Baluchistan Assembly with 65 members has been set as a bench mark. It means that each member of Baluchistan Assembly is also entitle for a single vote in presidential elections. Remaining three provincial assemblies will also have 65 votes each which means that vote of one member is not equal to one presidential vote.
Arrangements are final at all constituent units to facilitate members to elect new head of state through secret balloting. Polling will start at 10 AM and will continue without break till 3PM. Speakers of all assemblies have summoned special sessions for this purpose. No other business cannot be conducted during this process. Chief Justices of provincial high courts and Islamabad high court will act as returning officers.
Results of polling will be announced same day but president-elect will only be able to assume office on 8th of September 2013. Sitting President Asif Ali Zardari is due to relinquish his post on 8th of September after serving his entire constitutional term.
Earlier, 6th August was fixed as polling day for presidential elections but later on Supreme Court changed the date to 30th of July. This irked opposition parties especially Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and it announced to boycott elections and withdrew its candidates.
Withdrawal of PPP candidate left only two candidates running for the top office of the country. Ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has fielded Karachi based party worker Syed Mamnoon Hussain while Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has nominated Justice (Retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed.
PML-N enjoys majority in lower house of parliament and Punjab assembly and has garnered support of major political parties. The most surprising support came from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) which has sizable number of legislators in Sindh assembly. Without MQM support it would have been embarrassing for PML-N because the party has very low presence in provincial assembly.
Statistically speaking PML-N nominee Syed Mamnoon Hussain is leading the number game and will definitely be returned candidate today evening. PTI candidate is only running to deny any walkover to the treasury and he could obtain lead only in KPK where his party is ruling the province