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Mamnoon Hussain Elected As Pak Prez

A veteran Pakistani politician, Mamnoon Hussain is elected as president on Tuesday in a vote by legislators for the chiefly ceremonial post of head of state. Hussain, 73, will be on oath in on September 9 at the presidential palace due to be vacated by present Asif Ali Zardari, who is stepping down at the ending of his five-year term. Expelled in a bloodless rebellion in 1999, Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party cleared back into power in a May vote that manifest the first transition between civilian governments in a nation ruled by the military for more than half its history. The new president was chosen by an electoral college made up of members of the two houses of parliament and assemblies in Pakistan's four provinces. Given its ascendancy in parliament, the PML-N was guaranteed a walkover even before the main opposition party, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), declared it was boycotting the vote to protest against a vary in the election schedule. Hussain won simply in the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan and got 41 out of 110 votes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He won 277 out of 311 votes in the upper and lower houses of parliament, rising as the clear winner. Hussain, who will be president for five years, resigned his membership of the PML-N soon after the election results were publicized, in what is seen as a symbolic move to set up himself as a non-partisan president. Hussain has been an energetic member of the PML-N since the 1960s. He was governor of the southern province of Sindh from June to October 1999 when Sharif's government was conquered by the then army commander, General Pervez Musharraf. Traditionally, presidents have been figureheads in Pakistan although Musharraf exerted wide powers when he held the post. Under Zardari, the presidency was principally stripped of powers though he enjoyed substantial influence in the earlier administration.

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