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Asif Ali Zardari Elected as Pakistan’s 14th President

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On Saturday, Pakistani lawmakers gathered to elect the country’s 14th president. The chosen candidate was Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the center-left Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Zardari, aged 68, is well-known as the widower of the late two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

The presidential race pitted Zardari against Mahmood Khan Achakzai, a seasoned politician hailing from the southwestern Balochistan province. Achakzai represented the opposition Sunni Ittehad Council, a religiopolitical group that recently welcomed lawmakers associated with jailed ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Notably, several smaller political parties, including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) and Jamaat-e-Islami, chose to boycott the election. Consequently, no Member of Parliament (MP) from these parties participated in casting their votes.

The voting process commenced at 10 a.m. local time (0500GMT) at the National Assembly building in Islamabad. Simultaneously, voting took place in all four provincial capitals and continued until 4 p.m. (1100GMT).

Asif Ali Zardari’s victory marks his second term in Pakistan’s highest constitutional office. Previously, he served as the president from 2008 to 2013 during the tenure of his own party’s government.

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