» 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.
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Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future
The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.
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