Islamabad, Jul 26: Pakistan's Election Commission today accepted the nomination of the main contender for the office of President, overruling an objection by a rival that he is not eligible for the post as he does not sport a beard.
The issue of Mamnoon Hussain, nominated by the ruling PLM-N, not having a beard came up during the scrutiny of nomination papers by the Election Commission.
A rival candidate, Zahoor Hussain, argued before the Chief Election Commissioner that the PML-N nominee was unfit to become the head of the Islamic republic as he does not have a beard.
Zahoor Hussain contended that this is a violation of the traditions of Prophet Mohammed. He further claimed that under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, candidates should follow Islamic traditions.
However, the Election Commission rejected the objection and cleared Hussain's candidature for the July 30 poll, which he is poised to comfortably win as his PML-N party has a majority in the electoral college comprising members of parliament and the four provincial assemblies.
Though the opposition Pakistan People's Party said it would boycott the election to protest the Supreme Court's ruling to advance the polling date by a week, the Election Commission decided to give PPP candidate Raza Rabbani some more time to appear for the scrutiny of his papers.
If Rabbani fails to appear before the poll panel, his papers will be rejected, officials said.