Asif Ali Zardari Vs Mahmood Khan Achakzai: Who will be next president of Pakistan?

Asif Ali Zardari and Mahmood Khan Achakzai are in the race for the next president of Pakistan.–File photos

Asif Ali Zardari and Mahmood Khan Achakzai are in the race as Pakistan is going to elect its 14th president today (March 9, 2024). The election will begin at 10:00am.

Zardari is the former president of Pakistan and incumbent co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), while Achakzai is a sitting Member of National Assembly (MNA) and chairman of the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).

Zardari is contesting the presidential election with the support of the ruling coalition partners – PPP, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP). On the other hand, Achakzai has the support of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its coalition partner in the parliament Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC). If elected today, Zardari will be the first Pakistani politician to be elected the president of Pakistan twice. Earlier, Zardari has served as the president of Pakistan from 2013 to 2018.

Achakzai, who is known as a nationalist, is known for his anti-establishment views. He is a strong opponent of military’s role in political affairs of Pakistan. On the contrary, Zardari reportedly played a role in the regime-change operation in Pakistan allegedly led by the then army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Zardari’s party is said to have been favoured by the military establishment along with the other political parties, which are currently part of the ruling coalition, in the February 8 general elections in Pakistan.

Confessions of General (Retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa (Part 1)

Just a day before the presidential election, Achakzai moved the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to have the election postponed. He argued that the electoral college for the presidential election was incomplete; therefore, the election should be postponed. However, there was no action from the ECP on Achakzai’s plea.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Aamer Farooq presided over the joint session of the parliament in the federal capital that was convened to elect the 14th president of Pakistan.

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