Pakistan: Asif Ali Zardari elected president for the second time


Asif Ali Zardari was elected president of Pakistan on Saturday, returning to a position he held between 2008 and 2013, the country’s Election Commission announced.

Mr. Zardari (68) received 411 votes to 181 in favor of the candidate supported by the opposition, in a vote by the electoral college made up of members of the two houses of Parliament and the four provincial assemblies.

Expected, his election at the head of Pakistan is part of an agreement concluded at the end of the legislative and provincial elections of February 8, in accordance with which Shehbaz Sharif was elected Prime Minister on March 3 and the presidency was promised to Asif Ali Zardari.

Although candidates backed by Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI), won 93 of the National Assembly’s 266 seats in the legislative elections, this was not enough for them to form a government.

Without an absolute majority and rejecting any alliance, the PTI left the field open to a coalition between the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) of Nawaz Sharif, elder brother of Shehbaz Sharif, and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, as well as other minor formations. The PML-N and the PPP won 75 and 54 seats respectively.

Husband of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and father of Bilawal, Asif Ali Zardari was chosen by the PPP as its joint presidential candidate. He succeeds Arif Alvi who was elected in 2018 after the PTI’s victory in the legislative elections.

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