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Asif Ali Zardari Elected As Pakistan's 14th President; First Civilian To Hold Post Twice

Asif Ali Zardari secured his second term as Pakistan's 14th President, supported by a coalition between PPP and PML-N. He won with 255 votes, defeating Mahmood Khan Achakzai.
06:33 PM Mar 09, 2024 IST | Aniket Raj
asif ali zardari elected as pakistan s 14th president  first civilian to hold post twice
Asif Ali Zardari

Asif Ali Zardari secured his second term as Pakistan's 14th President on Saturday. Zardari, aged 68, serves as the co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which has recently entered into a coalition with Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML) to establish the national government. He ran as the joint candidate of PPP and PML-N. His opponent, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, aged 75, represented the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC).

According to Pakistani media reports, Zardari secured 255 votes, while his opponent received 119 votes. As per the Pakistani Constitution, Zardari was elected by the newly formed electoral college consisting of members from the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies.

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Transitioning from a businessman to a politician, Zardari is famously known as the husband of the late Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He is set to replace the incumbent, Dr. Arif Alvi, whose five-year term concluded last year. However, Dr. Alvi has remained in office awaiting the formation of the new electoral college.

Zardari's upcoming presidency marks a historic moment as he will be the first civilian to be elected twice as Pakistan's president. Prior to this, he served in the same role from 2008 to 2013.

On the other hand, Mahmood Khan Achakzai, who heads the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), contested the election under the umbrella of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC). The SIC gained visibility after independent candidates, supported by the incarcerated former Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), joined its ranks.

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