Asif Ali Zardari elected new President of Pakistan

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6 Sep, 2008

Pakistan People's Party co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari has been elected as new president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Saturday. Asif Ali Zardari is Pakistan's 11th since 1956, when the country became a republic, excluding acting presidents.

Amidst vociferous slogans of 'Jeye Bhutto' and 'Zinda hae Bibi zinda hae' the Chief Election Commissioner announced the unofficial result according to which Asif Ali Zardari secured 281 votes, against 111 of Justice (Retired) Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui and 34 of Mushahid Hussain Sayed, out of 436 total votes, of which ten were invalid.

Zardari also swept the polls in the provincial assemblies of NWFP, Sindh and Balochistan.

Zardari bagged 100 percent votes from his native Province's Sindh Assembly; he bagged 162 votes out of 163 cast in the house of 166 with one vote declared invalid. The result was announced by Presiding Officer, Chief Justice Sindh High Court, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali immediately after the counting was over. In the house of 166, not a single vote was cast in favor of any of the other two presidential candidates Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui.

Asif Zardari emerged victorious in the Balochistan Assembly by securing 59 out of the 63 votes polled for the presidential election. The other candidates for the post, Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui of PML-N and Mushahid Hussain Sayed of PML-Q got 2 votes each.

The result was announced by the Presiding Officer, Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court Justice Amanullah Yasinzai after counting of votes. Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind and Tariq Hussain Masoori abstained.

In the NWFP Assembly, Asif Zardari secured record 107 votes out of a total of 124 votes polled. Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui of PML-N grabbed 10 votes while Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of PML-Q obtained only three votes. While four votes were declared invalid as it were wrongly marked. Presiding Officer Tariq Pervez, Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court declared the unofficial results after counting of the votes.

Earlier, The voting process was held through a secret ballot by the two chambers of the national parliament, the National Assembly and Senate and the four provincial assemblies.

Chief Election Commissioner, Justice Qazi Muhammad Farooq conducted the proceedings as Returning Officer for election to the Office of the President. At the Parliament House, members from both the Houses, Senate and National Assembly, cast their votes to elect the President, being the Electoral College for Presidential election.

The contest was between Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Justice Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and Mushahid Hussain Sayed of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q).

Security has been beefed up across Pakistan and additional contingents of security forces were deployed in major cities.