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Pakistani president not to seek second term: spokesman


08:53, July 16, 2013

ISLAMABAD, July 15 (Xinhua)-- Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari, will not seek the second term, presidential spokesman, senator Farhatullah Babar, said Monday.

The term of Zaradri, who was elected president in September 2008, will complete in the second week of September this year. "President Asif Ali has decided not to contest election for the second time,"Babar told reporters in Islamabad.

President Zardari is currently in Dubai on his private visit to meet his children and is likely to visit London later to meet his daughter who studies there.

The spokesman denied Pakistani media reports that the president will not return to the country before the election.

He said that the president will not resign before the elections and will come back by end of July.

Local media reports that Zardari wants to play an active role in politics from the platform of his Pakistan People Party (PPP), which faced defeat in the May 11 elections.

The PPP President Makhdoom Amin Fahim said that the PPP has not yet decided to take part in the presidential elections.

Fahim told reporters Monday that the party will make decision after schedule for presidential elections is announced.

Official sources said that the government has sought schedule for the presidential elections from the Election Commission to ensure summoning of the parliament session for the elections.

Zardari's tenure is expiring on Sept. 9 and the presidential election schedule needs to be issued 30 days prior to it.

The relevant Constitutional provision says"Election to the office of president shall be held not earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of the president in office."

The government and its allied parties and opposition parties have not yet announced their presidential candidates.

Media reports suggest that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League ( PML-N) is pondering to field Prime Minister's Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz for the office of the president.

Opposition leader in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah hinted last week that efforts are being made to bring a joint presidential candidate from the opposition platform.

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