Pakistan elects businessman Mamnoon Hussain president

imagesPakistan on Tuesday elected businessman Mamnoon Hussain as its 12th president, replacing the unpopular Asif Ali Zardari, whose five-year term expires in September.

Lawmakers from both houses of the national parliament and four provincial assemblies voted Hussain into the ceremonial post in a move that will cement the authority of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Hussain secured 432 votes and his only rival Wajihuddin Ahmed 77, Fakhruddin Ebrahim, head of the election commission, announced live on television.

“As a result Mamnoon Hussain is declared… President of Pakistan,” he added.

The election completes a historic transition of power in Pakistan.

Sharif in May won a commanding victory in a general election, which marked the first time a Pakistani civilian government had completed a full term in office and handed over to another at the ballot box.

Constitutional amendments passed by Zardari’s government mean that the presidency is again a ceremonial post, a status likely to be cemented by the fact that Hussain has little personal clout.

Hussain, who comes from the financial capital Karachi, gives the southern province Sindh at least a token stake in the central government otherwise dominated by Sharif’s Punjab powerbase.

His background in textiles and as an ex-president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry also reflects the government’s number one task of reviving the stagnant economy.

Other analysts stress that his status as a long-serving but low-profile member of Sharif’s ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party makes him totally dependent on the prime minister.

In a sharp reminder of the country’s instability, the election took place hours after dozens of Taliban militants stormed a prison in the northwest, escaping with more than 240 inmates.

Hussain will formally preside over a government that must solve a debilitating power crisis, and preserve a US alliance complicated by drone attacks and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The soft spoken 73-year-old with a quiet smile had been certain to win.

Zardari’s opposition Pakistan People’s Party lost heavily in the May election and boycotted Tuesday’s ballot, complaining that the vote was brought forward from August 6.

The only other candidate, retired judge Ahmed, was nominated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the third largest party in parliament and led by cricket hero Imran Khan.

Hussain’s low profile is expected to provide a stark contrast to Zardari, considered a sharp political operator behind the scenes.

Born in India before partition of the subcontinent, he and his family migrated to Karachi, along with hundreds of thousands of other Muslims from across the border.

He briefly served as governor of the southern province of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital, under Sharif’s last premiership in 1999.

On the eve of the election, Hussain told PML-N supporters in the capital Islamabad that the presidency was a symbol of the federation of Pakistan, and vowed to serve the country and its people.

“He had no political affiliation until 1999 but his polite discourse and professional ability impressed Nawaz Sharif, who made him governor of Sindh,” said Azhar Haroon, current president of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 

 

 

 

Source : Channel News Asia | July 30, 2013

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Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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