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Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times
Islamabad, July 27, 2013
Pakistan main opposition party the Peoples Party (PPP) announced on Friday that it will boycott the presidential elections after the Supreme Court decided an earlier date for the polls. The polling will now be held on July 30 instead of August 6.

Presidential candidate of the party Senator Raza Rabbani said the move was unfair.

“The dates do not make sense logistically as the candidates are expected to stay in Islamabad till the scrutiny is over, visit all the provincial assemblies to ask for votes once free and then return to Islamabad to cast their vote,” he said. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa-based Awami National Party also announced it would boycott the election due to the change in the election schedule but Imran Khan announced that his party will contest the polls so that the ruling PML-N party “does not get an open berth.”

In the meantime, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) presidential candidate Mamnoon Hussain’s nomination papers were accepted by the Election Commission.

Candidates had raised objections over Mamnoon Hussain’s nomination papers. Zahoor Hussain, who is also contesting the election, raised an objection saying according to Islamic practices Mamnoon Hussain should have a beard. Another objection was regarding Hussain’s position in the PML-N, as a presidential candidate is to be free of party affiliation.