» 07/30/2013, 00.00
Islamabad, MPs to vote for the new President. Peoples Party boycotts polls
Today’s vote chooses the successor to Asif Ali Zardari, who completes his 5 year term on September 9. Ruling party (the Islamic PML-N) candidate Himari Hussain favoured to win, the PPP participates in Assembly’s working session but desertes the vote, to protest against the Supreme Court's decision to anticipate ballot. No irregularities for Government.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Pakistan
is preparing to elect the 12th president in the history of the Republic, who
will succeed the current head of state Asif Ali Zardari, whose mandate expires
on 9 September at the end of the five year period covered by the Constitution. The
coalition government led by Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N), has indicated their candidate in Himari Hussain. Former
cricketer Imran Khan's opposition movement Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), has instead chosen former judge Wajhiuddin
Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the party of outgoing President Zardari would
not give any names, in protest against the "hasty" procedure in the selection
of the next head of state.
The voting procedure will be
carried out today by secret ballot and will be held simultaneously, in
Parliament and the four provincial assemblies that comprise the Republic. The
operation started at 10 this morning and will end no later than 3 pm. The
constituency called to choose the head of state in Pakistan is formed by MPs -
recently rennewed following the vote
on 11 May, which marked the end of the domination of the popular Bhutto and
Zardari - and members of the four local assemblies (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,
Punjab, Sindh and Bluchistan).
Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim,
head of the Electoral Commission, has called on all parliamentarians to ensure
the secrecy of the operations. Cell
phones or any other electronic item will therefore not be allowed during the
the choice of the next president is overshadowed by the boycott announced by
the former majority faction, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), to protest the
decision of the head of the Supreme Court Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to
anticipate the vote to July
30 from August 6, thus shortening the election campaign.
MPs of the PPP participated in the preparatory work and interventions in the
Assembly, but will not vote. In
response, the Minister for Information explains that they may raise objections
in the case of "postponement" of the vote, but not "if they are
mandate of the outgoing Head of State expires on September 9, he should remain
in office until the day before for ordinary business, but it is not excluded
that he may voluntarily anticipate the date of his resignation.
Asif Ali Zardari is Pakistan's new president
The president-elect, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party and widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, crushed the competition. His most urgent challenges include the fight against terrorism and the economic crisis. Voting marked by an attack in Peshawar that killed 16 people.
Terrorism on the offensive as the debate over a new president heats up
At least 50 people are killed and dozens are hurt in a double suicide bomb attack against the country’s main defence industry complex. At the same time the country is starting to vet the candidacy of Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, to the presidency. Political parties are however split over the issue.
Archbishop of Lahore: “the ballot box has decided, now let us work for democracy”
President of the Bishop’s Conference, msgr. Lawrence John Saldanha, underlines that the election results have clearly shown the will of people for a civilian and constitutional management of power. A deal is reached between the Popels Party and Muslim League.
National state of emergency is imposed, elections postponed, but it all seems a contrived manoeuvre
President Iajuddin quits as head of caretaker government and delays elections as the opposition demanded. Tensions remain high though as the UN ends its support to the electoral process. For some analysts a creeping coup d’État is underway.
Pakistani Christians and Muslims : Zardari, a presidency of highs and lows
For the first time a national leader has been able to conclude his mandate and ensure a “soft” transition of power. He is credited with having promoted a "political consensus" and given " more powers to the Parliament ." The appointment of a Catholic minister a sign of concern for minorities. But allegations of corruption and the lack of economic and social development weigh on his term of office.
Syrian Trappist nuns say Western powers and factional media fuel war propaganda
In a written appeal, the religious systematically take apart the version of the conflict touted by governments, NGOs and international news organizations. In Ghouta east, jihadists attack the capital and use civilians as human shields. The Syrian government and people have a duty to defend themselves from external attacks. The conflict alone has undermined the coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the country.
Xinjiang, crosses, domes, statues destroyed: the new 'Sinicized' Cultural Revolution
Crosses removed from the domes and the tympanum of Yining Church as well as external decorations and crosses, and the Way of the Cross within the church. The same happened at the churches of Manas and Hutubi. The Cross represents "a foreign religious infiltration ". Prayer services forbidden even in private houses under the threat of arrests and re-education. Children and young people forbidden to enter churches. Religious revival frightens the Party.
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