Zardari elected as 11th Pakistan President
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chief and widower of late Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday elected as the 11th President of Pakistan. Despite of his past corruption image, he managed to won the election after break-up with alliance partner Pakistan Muslim League (N).
As per reports, he won the Presidential election by huge margin surpassing the two contestants –one supported by Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister and present president of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), and other backed by former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf.
Zardari, whose party had recently bore the shock of breaking ally with PML-N which had a crucial role to force Musharraf to resign from the presidential post, easily won the top seat of the nation by winning more than half votes while the results of Punjab province is yet to come.
For winning the presidential election, any candidate would have to get at least 352 votes. Zardari has defeated Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui, a former judge who had the backing of Nawaz, and Musharraf supported Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who was nominated by the PML-Q party.
The Chief Election Commission of Pakistan, Qazi Muhammad Farooq conducted the polling under his supervision in which the members of both houses: Upper and Lower, caste their votes consecutively. First the members of Upper House exercised their voting rights followed by the members of Lower House. The voting was held concurrently in the four provincial assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan.
Zardari (54) a former cabinet minister in Benazir’s regime has already faced the charges of severe crimes including his alleged hand behind the murder of Murtuza Ali Bhutto (Brother of slain leader Benazir) and substantial corruption charges during her wife Benazir’s regime. For this he had to go behind the bar twice- first in 1990 after the dismissal of Benazir’s government and later in 1996. He spent 11 years in jail with corruption charges that were not proven.
In 2004, Zardari finally left Pakistan and established himself in UAE. Since then, he was residing there till her wife Benazir Bhutto was assassinated just before the general election in controversial circumstances. After the death of Bhutto, he returned to Pakistan and plunged into the political centre stage as president of PPP.
However, he as the President of Pakistan has to face the wrath of rising inflation and severe insurgency in the provinces of Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Zardari, who is considered as pro-America, will also have to face internal challenges especially from the orthodox Muslims who are against American policies.
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