Zardari: Pakistan’s New President
Asif Ali Zardari’s decisive victory in the Pakistan’s presidential election, despite media allegations about corruption and the state of his mental health, proves that the political leadership in Pakistan has clearly opted to hand over the reigns of power to the late Benazir Bhutto’s husband.
Zardari won by a convincing 481 out of a possible 702 votes in the electoral college made up of members of the national and provincial parliaments. The Australian notes that “only Punjab, Pakistan’s biggest province and the stronghold of his political adversary, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, held out against him, voting instead for Sharif’s preferred candidate, retired judge Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui.
“Vowing to pursue Bhutto’s philosophy and vision, he recalled her words that ‘democracy is the best revenge’ and pledged that ‘this president will be subservient to parliament’.
“Democracy is widely seen as the real winner in the weekend poll, with even Mr Sharif conceding that the fact a presidential election was held without army interference represents progress in Pakistan.
“Even the legions of disaffected Bhutto loyalists who view Mr Zardari’s ascent to the highest office of the land with dismay appear to accept it.” More here…
Another report says that the newly-elected President Asif Ali Zardari was plunged headlong into his first major crisis last night after angry Pakistani officials cut off vital supply lines serving the US-led NATO force fighting in Afghanistan. But later reports said that the supply route was being reopened following an appeal to Mr Zardari by US officials. More here…