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Pakistani Lawmakers Set to Elect President

Pakistan's lawmakers will elect a new ceremonial head of state Tuesday to replace Asif Ali Zardari, whose five-year term is expiring.

Mamnoon Hussain, a textile businessman and a close ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is expected to become the next president. Mr. Sharif will remain the most powerful figure in the civilian government in Pakistan.

Controversy broke out last week when the Supreme Court agreed to a request by Mr. Sharif's ruling PML-N party to move forward the election from August 6 because some lawmakers wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia for a pilgrimage during the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Mr. Zardari's PPP party has said it will boycott the presidential election in response to the court's ruling.



Pakistan's president is not elected by popular vote but by the two-house federal parliament and four provincial assemblies.

Mr. Zardari is the first president in Pakistan's 66-year existence to complete his entire term.

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