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Asif Zardari makes a comeback as Pakistan’s President


Pakistani lawmakers have voted for the reinstatement of the widower of Benazir Bhutto following an election overshadowed by allegations of rigging.


Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party, secured a second term as Pakistan's president with the backing of the ruling coalition in a vote by parliament and regional assemblies.


Zardari garnered 411 votes, surpassing his opponent, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, who received 181 votes. The Election Commission of Pakistan revealed the results on Saturday after counting the votes from national MPs, provincial MPs, and senators.


Following the assassination of Pakistan's first female leader, Benazir Bhutto, Zardari was elected to the ceremonial position by the PPP. The party had joined forces with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) after the controversial February 8 elections.


Zardari is anticipated to take the oath at a ceremony scheduled for Sunday.


As per the coalition agreement involving several smaller parties, Shehbaz Sharif of PMLN took the oath as prime minister on Monday.


Imran Khan found himself behind bars and was barred from running in the election. His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party faced arrests and censorship, leading its members to run independently.


According to the PTI, a mobile internet blackout on election day and a delay in results were employed to conceal nationwide rigging that hindered their victory. Accusations of vote manipulation overshadowed the elections.


Last month, the PTI secured the most seats among all parties but did not reach the majority required for governance, paving the way for the PMLN and PPP alliance.


The party is currently embroiled in a legal battle over allocating seats designated for women and minorities in the assembly.


Zardari, 68, assumed the presidential office in 2008 due to a sympathy vote following the tragic assassination of Benazir Bhutto during her re-election campaign.



During his presidency, which lasted until 2013, he reduced the authority of the presidential office.


The presidency of Pakistan used to hold significant power but was transformed into a symbolic role in 2010 following a constitutional amendment by Zardari.

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