- PML-N candidate bags 432 electoral votes against Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmad’s 77
- CEC says ECP conducted free and fair polls, leaders should now focus on good governance
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) consolidated its grip on the country’s reigns on Tuesday as its presidential nominee Mamnoon Hussain got elected as the 12th president of the country for a five-year term with a thumping majority, leaving Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmad biting the dust.
The president – still considered a crucial official despite removal of Article 58-2(b) –holds immense symbolic value as the head of the state and the supreme commander of the armed forces.
Mamnoon, 73, is likely to be sworn in at the presidency on completion of five-year term of President Asif Ali Zardari on September 9. He would be one of the very few presidents of the country serving at such an old age.
According to results announced by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (r) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, Hussain polled 432 electoral votes against his lone rival retired Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmad of the PTI, who got 77.
The result was announced by the CEC after tabulation and consolidation on Tuesday evening.
Per PML-N sources, Hussain resigned from the basic membership of the PML-N soon after the election results were announced as a symbolic move to establish himself as a non-partisan president.
Earlier, former President Sardar Farooq Khan Leghari also tendered resignation from the basic membership of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) after his election as president in 1993. Later, he dismissed his own party’s government over corruption charges. However, Mamnoon is not so bold and is known as a political nobody who always toes his party’s line.
He entered the hall along with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and others and met the leaders of the PML-N and its allies. The parliamentarians, mostly from the PML-N and its allies, queued up in the National Assembly hall to cast their vote for electing the new president, while the PTI members kept discussing issues with their party leader Imran Khan who had arrived to cast his vote.
A discussion also triggered some controversy between PTI lawmakers and even National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq joined them for a while.
PM Nawaz Sharif entered the hall at 2:55pm with other PML-N members and cast his vote at 3pm.
The first vote was cast at 10:15am by Senator Abbasi Afridi.
The PML-N members, along with the chief whip, were comfortable in the hassle-free election. Both the contestants, despite having a sense of the results, were in the run for the sake of democratic norms, as stated by PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The polling continued without a break in the National Assembly hall where members of the parliament cast their votes at three polling booths. At around midday, CEC, who was the returning officer for the election, also visited the National Assembly building and witnessed the polling process. He stayed in speaker’s gallery for some time.
The counting process started on culmination of the polling as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Mamnoon Hussain both remained in the House until the result was announced. Pleasantries were exchanged and congrats extended by the party members and MPs to both the upcoming president and the prime minister.
In Islamabad, 314 votes were cast of which 311 were declared valid by the presiding officer, Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Anwar Kasi.
Hussain secured 277 votes while Wajihuddin Ahmad got 34.
In Sindh Assembly, 27 electoral votes were cast by members, and Mamnoon Hussain bagged 25 votes, while Wajihuddin received just two.
In Balochistan Assembly fifty-six votes were cast of which 55 went to Hussain.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, fifty-seven electoral votes were cast. Hussain got 21 votes, while Wajihuddin bagged 36.
In the Punjab Assembly, fifty-eight electoral votes were polled, with Hussain bagging 54.
While announcing the result, the CEC said the commission has conducted free and fair election and hoped that the authorities would now concentrate on good governance.