PML-N candidate emerges frontrunner in Pak presidential poll
Islamabad: Nine candidates on Wednesday filed nominations for Pakistan`s presidential election, with the ruling PML-N`s India-born nominee Mamnoon Hussain emerging a clear frontrunner for the poll to be held on July 30.
Hussain, a close aide of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, went to the Islamabad High Court with PML-N leaders and submitted his nomination papers.
"I will be the President for everybody. I will resign from my party office if I become President," Hussain told reporters.
Iqbal Zafar Jhagra filed papers as the PML`s covering candidate. Among the candidates who filed nominations were Raza Rabbani of the opposition Pakistan People`s Party and six independents.
Hussain, a leading businessman from the port city of Karachi, is expected to easily win the poll as the PML-N has a clear majority in the electoral college comprising members of parliament and the four provincial assemblies.
Born in 1940 in the historic city of Agra, he belongs to the Urdu-speaking ethnic group that migrated from India during partition in 1947.
Hussain is an old loyalist of Sharif and remained with the PML-N during the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who exiled Sharif to Saudi Arabia and created a new party by breaking the PML-N.
He served as Governor of Sindh province for a short period during June-October 1999 and lost the post after Musharraf led a military coup against Sharif.
After scrutiny of the nominations, the final list of candidates will be issued on July 27. The presidential election was earlier scheduled for August 6 but the Supreme Court today directed the Election Commission to hold it on July 30.
The new President will be sworn on September 8 and will replace incumbent Asif Ali Zardari.
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