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Mamnoon Hussain elected Pakistan's 12th president
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ISLAMABAD, July 30 (Agencies): India-born Pakistani businessman Mamnoon Hussain, a close aide of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was today elected as the 12th President of Pakistan after he trounced his lone opponent in a one-sided contest.

Hussain, 73, will be sworn in on September 9 at the presidential palace due to be vacated by incumbent Asif Ali Zardari, who is stepping down at the end of his five-year term.

Hussain emerged as a clear winner in the contest with ex-judge Wajihuddin Ahmed of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party, state media reported.

Pakistan Peoples Party had withdrawn its candidate Raza Rabbani and boycotted the election protesting change of poll dates from August 6 to July 30 on Supreme Court's directions.

Lawmakers from both houses of the national parliament and four provincial assemblies voted in the two-man race for the top post.

The polling started at 10.00 AM amidst tight security arrangements and was over by 15:00 PM.

According to the unofficial results, 277 votes were cast from the Senate and National Assembly in favour of Hussain.

Hussain required 263 votes to win, a target his party was in a position to comfortably achieve.

34 votes were polled in favour of Ahmed, while three votes were rejected by polling staff.

In the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 110 lawmakers voted in the presidential poll — 69 MPAs voted for Ahmed and 41 for Hussain.

Sindh Assembly saw 69 out of 71 lawmakers cast their votes with 64 in favour of Mamnoon and five for Ahmed.

In the Balochistan Assembly, 56 legislators voted with 55 in favour of the PML-N-backed candidate and one for his rival.

In Punjab, Hussain got 313 while Ahmed got 24 votes.

Born in the historic city of Agra, Hussain, who belongs to an Urdu-speaking ethnic group that migrated from India during partition in 1947, was the candidate of ruling PML-N government.

Hussain, who will be president for five years, resigned his membership of the PML-N soon after the election results were announced.

The office of the president is ceremonial in Pakistan but he is still the constitutional chief of the armed forces but cannot order deployments.

He also appoints the services chiefs at the recommendation of the prime minister.

Pakistan so far had 11 presidents, out of which five were military generals. Four of them seized powers through coups, whereas first president Major Sikandar Mirza was elected in 1956 after the first constitution was adopted.

Former Sindh governor and an alumnus of the Institute of Business Administration, from where he graduated in 1965, Hussain is an old loyalist of Nawaz Sharif and remained with the PML-N during the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

He served as the governor of Sindh from June to October 1999 and lost the post after the then army chief Gen Pervez Musharraf toppled the PML-N government in a military coup in Oct 1999.

"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.

News Updated at : Tuesday, July 30, 2013
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