Pakistan today, September 4, elected a close ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan as its new president, further cementing the ruling party’s power after a controversial general election victory.
Former dentist Arif Alvi, one of the founders of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, will replace Mamnoon Hussain after the vote by more than 1,000 lawmakers from both houses of parliament and the four provincial assemblies.
Former cricket champion Khan became prime minister last month following his party’s controversial victory in the mid-July parliamentary elections.
Khan’s critics accuse him of having benefited from an underhand intervention by the military in his favour, and from fraud on the day of the vote.
State-run Pakistan television announced the unofficial results just over an hour after the voting ended Tuesday, with Alvi claiming victory in televised remarks. The official result is expected to be announced by the election commission on Wednesday.
Alvi told reporters he was “thankful to God”, and vowed to be a president for all of Pakistan. TV footage showed him shaking hands with parliamentarians after the vote, with many handing him sweets in celebration.