ISLAMABAD: According to article 41(3) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, the 12th President of Pakistan will be chosen by 706 lawmakers of Electoral College, including 104 elected senators, 342 members of the national and 260 of the provincial assemblies on July 30, 2013.
According to article 41(3) Chief Election Commissioner has to conduct elections to the office of the President in a special session of Parliament and all the provincial assemblies in accordance with the provisions of Second Schedule to the Constitution. The President is elected for a term of 5 years.
As per National Assembly document, the composition of major political bodies in National assembly is as follows: PML-N’s total National assembly seats are 186, PPP has 42 while PTI has 35 seats. Similarly MQM has 23 seats, JUI-F 15 seats, PML-F 6 seats, PKMAP 4, JI 4 seats, NPP has 3 seats, PML-Q 2 seats, Independent and vacant seats are 16.
Similarly as per Senate document, the political composition of major political bodies in the Senate is as follows: PML-N’s total Senate seats are 15, PPP has occupied 39 whereas PTI has no seat. Similarly MQM has 7 seats, JUI-F 7 seats, PML-F has no seat, PKMAP has no seat, JI has no seat, NPP 1 seat, PML-Q 5 seats, technocrats and other seats are 30 and total seats of Senate are 104.
Each provincial assembly consists of general seats, seats reserved for women and non-Muslims as specified below which an official told APP in detail here.
In Balochistan Assembly 51 general seats are specified for lawmakers, 11 seats reserved for women, 3 seats for Non-Muslims with total of 65 seats, whereas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, there are 99 general seats, 22 seats reserved for women, 3 seats for Non-Muslims with a total of 124 seats.
In Punjab Assembly 297 general seats are specified for lawmakers while 66 seats are reserved for women, 8 seats for Non-Muslims and total number of seats is 371, similarly in Sindh Assembly, 130 general seats, 29 reserved seats for women, 9 seats for Non-Muslims with a specification of 168 total seats.
The Electoral College is comprised of upper and lower houses, including 4 provinces assemblies by sitting of the main six leading political bodies so that each province has an equal vote.
All provincial assemblies are given exactly 65 votes in the Electoral College. This mean that the each member of the Punjab Assembly has 65/370 = 0.176 votes, each member of the Sindh Assembly has 65/168 = 0.387 votes, each member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly has 65/124 = 0.524 votes and each member of the Balochistan Assembly has 65/65 = 1 vote.
According to an ECP official, in electoral rolls, there are total 706 assembly members who will elect the president.
The President is a ceremonial post, head of state, and merely a figurehead with the executive powers granted to Prime Minister, by the Constitution. The Constitution states that a presidential candidate must be a Muslim men or women, not less than 45 years of age, and a Member of the National Assembly can contest the Presidential election.
The constitution further states that election to the office of President will not be held earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of the President in office.
Candidates for the presidential elections have been officially announced by three major parties. PML-N, the current ruling party, has nominated former Sindh Governor Mamnoon Hussain as its candidate. Whereas, PPP has fielded Senator Raza Rabbani while Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed is backed by PTI.
Efforts are being made by PPP to bring together all opposition parties and field a joint candidate for the election.
Although PML-N enjoys considerable majority in the Electoral College to comfortably secure a win for its candidate, however a joint candidate by the opposition can bring up a challenge for the ruling party.