[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Pakistan legislators to elect new president

Businessman Mamnoon Hussain, close ally of Prime Minister Sharif, likely to become next head of state.

Last Modified: 30 Jul 2013 10:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Mamnoon Hussain, likely to become the next head of state, is a close ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [Reuters]

Pakistani legislators have began voting for a new president, marking an end to the five-year term of outgoing Asif Ali Zardari whose party lost May's general elections.

Mamnoon Hussain, a businessman from the southern city of Karachi and close ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was predicted to become the new head of state after Tuesday's vote.

A long-serving member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N), Hussain addressed a party meeting in Islamabad on Monday.

"Describing the office of president as the symbol of federation, the presidential candidate pledged to serve the country and its people in his capacity as president," a statement issued by Sharif's office said.

Some analysts say that the election is "more or less a settled issue".

"There is no excitement in it because it has become a one-sided affair, and the powers of the president are very limited and nominal'' said Pakistani political analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi

Sharif will remain the most powerful figure in the civilian government in Pakistan, a key ally of the US.

Opposition boycott

Controversy broke out last week when the Supreme Court agreed to a request by the PML-N to move forward the election - originally scheduled for August 6 - because some legislators wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The country's former ruling party, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which has the second highest number of seats in the National Assembly, announced that it would boycott the presidential election in response to the court's ruling.

The PPP complained that the judges ruled without hearing from the opposition, and the new election date did not give the party enough time to campaign.

The court's decision sparked criticism from outside the party as well from critics who have long warned about the Supreme Court's tendency to overreach its mandate.

305

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list