31 Jul 2013

Veteran politician elected Pakistan president

2:40 pm on 31 July 2013

A veteran Pakistani politician and the Prime Minister's trusted ally, Mamnoon Hussain, has been chosen to be the country's president.

The 73-year-old was selected for the largely ceremonial post by an electoral college made up of members of the two houses of parliament and assemblies in Pakistan's four provinces.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N ) party swept back into power in May in a vote that marked the first transition between civilian governments in the country's history.

Mr Hussain has been an active member of the PML-N since the 1960s. He was governor of the southern province of Sindh from June to October 1999 when Mr Sharif's government was overthrown by the then army commander, General Pervez Musharraf.

Mr Hussain, who will be president for five years, resigned his membership of the PML-N soon after the election results were announced, in what Reuters saidi s seen as a symbolic move to establish himself as a non-partisan president, Reuters reports.