Voting begins in Pakistan’s presidential election

Anadolu Agency

Pakistani lawmakers headed to the polls on Tuesday to elect the 13th president for the next five years, officials and state-run media reported.

The polling began at National Assembly at 10 a.m. local time (0500GMT) which will continue until 4 p.m. local time (1100GMT), state-run PTV News reported.

The president is elected through a secret ballot by lawmakers from the Senate, National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies.

Three candidates are running for the office of the president. The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its allies’ nominated Dr. Arif Alvi, while Pakistan People Party’s candidate is Aitzaz Ahsan. Other opposition parties have nominated Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s President Maulana Fazlu Rehman as their presidential candidate.

The opposition parties failed to reach a consensus to field a joint candidate despite several meetings between their leaders on Monday. ​

The ruling party is confident to easily win the election as opposition parties are divided.

In Pakistan, the president is a symbol of federation and head of the state, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, but exercise power upon the recommendations of the prime minister.

The incumbent President Mamnoon Hussain’s five-year term will end on Sept. 9.

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