Saturday, September 6, 2008

Asif Ali Zardari elected new President of Pakistan

Pakistan People’s Party Co-chairman, Asif Ali Zardari was elected as the next President of Pakistan after securing majority of votes in the presidential elections held here on Saturday.

Asif Ali Zardari is Pakistan's 11th President since 1956, when the country became a republic, excluding acting presidents.

According to the unofficial result out of 702 Asif Ali Zardari secured 479 votes, of which he got 281 from Parliament, 22 from Punjab, 6 from Sindh, 59 from Balochistan and 56 from NWFP.

Justice retired Saeeduzaman Siddique got 153 and Mushahid Hussain got 43 votes.

In the Parliament Zardari secured 281 votes, 111 by Justice (Retd) Saeeduzaman Siddique and 34 by Mushahid Hussain Sayed, out of 436 total votes, of which ten were declared invalid.

Asif Ali Zardari secured 123 in Punjab Assembly, 162 in Sindh Assembly, 107 in NWFP, and 59 in Balochistan Assembly.

His rival Justice (Retd) Saeeduzaman Siddique got 201 votes in Punjab Assembly, none from Sindh, 10 from NWFP and 2 from Balochistan Assembly.

Mushahid Hussain got 36 from Punjab Assembly, none from Sindh, 3 from NWFP and 2 from Balochistan Assembly.

The PML-N candidate Justice (Retd.) Saeeduz Zaman Siddiqui outshone in Punjab assembly with 201 votes, followed by Asif Ali Zardari securing 123 votes while Mushahid Hussain Syed could muster support of only 36 members.

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 (Retd.) 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 (Retd.) 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.

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