ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) candidate Mamnoon Hussain has been elected as Pakistan’s 12th president for the next five year after securing 432 votes of electoral college during the presidential poll, his lone rival Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) secured 77 votes.
Mamnoon Hussain, 73, will be sworn in on Sept 9 at the presidency due to be vacated by incumbent Asif Ali Zardari, who is stepping down at the end of his five-year term.
Moreover, Hussain resigned from membership of the PML-N soon after the election results were announced, in what is seen as a symbolic move to establish himself as a non-partisan president.
Lawmakers on Tuesday voted in their respective Houses amid strict security arrangements as voting was held through secret ballot and began simultaneously at the Parliament House and the four provincial assemblies at 10:00 am and continued till 3:00 pm.
In the National Assembly, Mamnoon Hussain of the ruling PML-N secured 277 votes, while Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmad of PTI received 34 votes.
In the KP Assembly, 110 lawmakers voted in the presidential poll — 69 MPAs voted for PTI candidate and 41 for PML-N candidate.
Sindh Assembly saw 69 lawmakers casting their votes with 64 in favour of Mamnoon and five for the PTI candidate.Chief Justice Sindh High Court Musheer Alam, who was the presiding officer during the process, announced that Mamnoon got 24.76 votes in accordance with constitutional mechanism, whereas Wajih secured 1.93 votes.
In the Balochistan Assembly, 56 legislators voted — 55 MPAs voted for PML-N candidate and 1 for PTI candidate.
Likewise, in Punjab Assembly‚ 338 lawmakers voted in the presidential election — Mamnoon Hussain secured 309 votes whereas Wajihuddin bagged 23 votes.
There was a one-on-one contest between PML-N nominee Mamnoon Hussain and PTI candidate Wajhiuddin Ahmad as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP) and Balochistan National Party (BNP) have boycotted the presidential election over reservations on the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to reschedule the poll.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) was also away from the process at the centre but its members took part in voting in Balochistan Assembly and supporting PML-N candidate.
The electoral college of the presidential election consists of Senate‚ National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies.
According to Article 41(3) of the Constitution, the president will be chosen for five years by the electoral college of 706 lawmakers, including 104 senators and 342 members of the National Assembly and 260 of the provincial assemblies. By-elections for about 50 seats of national and provincial assemblies are scheduled for August 22.
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.
Hussain belongs to Sindh and lives in Karachi, where he owns a textile business. He was born in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1940. In 1993, he inched closer to the party leadership when Nawaz contested his own removal from the premier’s office by then president Ghulam Ishaq Khan.
According to analysts, picking Hussain as its presidential candidate would help the party counter the PPP’s claims that the PML-N was accommodating only Punjab-based politicians at offices in the centre. He contested the 2002 elections from NA-250 (Karachi) on PML-N ticket but had no luck. He is also a former president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).