2008 Pakistani presidential election

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Pakistani Presidential Election, 2008

← 2007 6 September 2008 2013 →

669 votes in the Electoral College
335 votes needed to win
Candidate Asif Ali Zardari Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui Mushahid Hussain
Home state Sindh Sindh Punjab
Electoral vote 409 216 44
Percentage 61.14% 32.29% 6.58%

President before election

Muhammad Mian Soomro (acting)

Elected President

Asif Ali Zardari

An indirect presidential election was held on 6 September 2008 in Pakistan.[1] The Electoral College of Pakistan – a joint sitting of the Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies – elected a new president after the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf.[2] As required by the constitution, Muhammad Mian Soomro (in his position as Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan) automatically became acting president on 18 August 2008, upon the resignation of Musharraf.[3] The constitution required that a new president be elected by Parliament within 30 days; Soomro was considered loyal to Musharraf, and it was considered certain that he would be replaced in that election.[4]

Composition of the Electoral College[edit]

The Electoral College of Pakistan is formed by a joint sitting of the six leading political bodies in Pakistan:

So that each province has an equal vote, all provincial assemblies are given exactly 65 votes in the electoral college. This mean that the each member of the Punjab Assembly has 65/370 = 0.176 votes, each member of the Sindh Assembly has 65/166 = 0.392 votes, each member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly has 65/124 = 0.524 votes and each member of the Balochistan Assembly has 65/65 = 1 vote.[5]

The political composition of these bodies at the time of the election was:

Body PPP PML-N PML-Q MQM ANP MMA PML-F PPP-S BNP-A NPP Other/Independents Total
National Assembly 124 91 54 25 13 7 5 1 1 1 18 340
Senate 9 4 38 6 2 17 1 3 1 19 100
Punjab Assembly 107 170 84 2 3 4 370
Sindh Assembly 93 9 51 2 8 3 166
Balochistan Assembly 12 19 4 10 7 13 65
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly 30 9 6 48 14 6 11 124
Total (weighted) 216 130 132 51 45 42 10 7 9 2 56 700
Source: Election Commission of Pakistan's tally of seats of the National Assembly, Senate, and Provincial Assemblies. Also given is the counting procedure of Presidential election


Nominations closed on Tuesday 26 August.[6]


Summary of the 6 September 2008 Pakistani presidential election results
Candidate Main supporting party Senate National Assembly Punjab* Sindh* Balochistan NWFP* Total
Asif Ali Zardari Pakistan Peoples Party 241 20 63 40 45 409
Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui Pakistan Muslim League (N) & Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan; 142 40 0 9 25 216
Mushahid Hussain Syed Pakistan Muslim League (Q) 31 3 0 7 2 44
* Pro-rated to 65 votes
Source: Dawn

Asif Ali Zardari was elected President of Pakistan, as Chief election commissioner Qazi Mohammad Farooq announced that "Asif Ali Zardari secured 241 votes out of the 426 valid votes polled in the parliament," In Sindh, Zardari had 62 of the 65 electoral votes while his 2 main opponents, got zero vote; in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Zardari got 56 votes against 25 by Siddiqui and one by Hussain; in Baluchistan, 49 votes while Siddiqui and Hussain got 5 and 2 respectively.[24] BBC reported that Zardari "won 419 votes, far more than the 372 votes that would have guaranteed him victory."[25] The New York Times said that Zardari would be sworn in "as soon as Saturday night or as late as Monday or Tuesday, diplomats and officials said."[26]

The new president, who obtains the largest number of votes, will serve for 5 years as Pakistan's 11th since 1956, when the country became a republic, excluding acting presidents.[27][28] Voting was in progress at the Parliament House, while the Senate members finished casting their votes,[29] amid the death of 12 people, after a suicide car bomber blasted a security checkpoint on the outskirts of Peshawar.[30]

Violaion of rules in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa[edit]

A number of MPAs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly including the Chief Minister violated the secret ballot by displaying the stamped ballot papers in the presidential elections.[31] So these votes have to be subtracted from the vote count.[32]


Pakistan Peoples Party activists in Pakistan held rallies and distributed sweets when the results were announced.[33] The main opposition party, PML-N, said it was the "success of the democratic process in the country" but said he should resign as PPP co-chairman, as the President has traditionally been apolitical, and to transfer Presidential powers back to parliament.[34][35] The newspaper 'Dawn' described Zardari as the most controversial President of Pakistan at the time of his election, and urged him to "dispel the impression of a political wheeler-dealer and rise to the requirements of statesmanship".[36] The Regional Times of Sindh said Zardari had one of the stiffest jobs in the world as leader of the world's only nuclear-armed Islamic country, a frontline war on terror state and facing "growing militancy" and "crippling economic woes". However, they said his "years of suffering have made him wiser and headstrong" and he has "displayed great acumen and maturity since returning to the political scene". Privately, the Pakistan military, bureaucracy and business elite were said to be "aghast" at the result given past corruption allegations.[37]

The United States Secretary of State welcomed Zardari's victory, praising his "emphasis on fighting terrorism" and "very strong words of friendship and alliance with the United States".[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Date set for Pakistan election | The Australian". Theaustralian.news.com.au. 22 August 2008. Archived from the original on 24 August 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  2. ^ "Musharraf Quits as President to Avoid Impeachment (Update2)". Bloomberg. 14 July 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  3. ^ "Soomro takes over as acting Pak President"[permanent dead link], Press Trust of India, 18 August 2008.
  4. ^ Stephen Graham, "Musharraf's exit poses challenge for Pakistan", AFP, 18 August 2008. Archived 19 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ This system is detailed in the Constitution of Pakistan here. Archived 8 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Crisis over judges eases in Pakistan Archived 24 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, International Herald Tribune, 2008-08-22, accessed on 2009-08-22
  7. ^ PPP chairman says next Pakistani President to come from his party, Xinhua, 2008-08-18, accessed on 2008-08-20
  8. ^ Pakistan coalition meets on Musharraf successor, Agence France Presse, 2008-08-19, accessed on 2008-08-20
  9. ^ Pakistani Opposition Party Backs PPP's Zardari for President Archived 5 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Voice of America, 2008-08-20, accessed on 2008-08-20
  10. ^ Zardari's Emergence as PPP President Pick Widens Rift, Bloomberg, 2008-08-22, accessed on 2008-08-22
  11. ^ Bhutto's widower will be party's candidate for Pakistan presidency Archived 24 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, International Herald Tribune, 2008-08-22, accessed on 2008-08-23
  12. ^ Bhuttos Witwer will Nachfolger Musharrafs werden (Bhutto's widower wants to become Musharraf's successor) (German), Der Standard, 2008-08-23, accessed on 2008-08-24
  13. ^ Sharif accepts Zardari on condition, Al Jazeera, 2008-08-24, accessed on 2008-08-24
  14. ^ Pakistani coalition wrangles over president, judges, Reuters, 2008-08-24, accessed on 2008-08-25
  15. ^ Sharif withdraws party from Pakistan ruling coalition, CNN, 2008-08-25, accessed on 2008-08-25
  16. ^ Imran, Babar clash over Zardari's nomination, Daily Times, 2008-08-25, accessed on 2008-08-25
  17. ^ JUI-F NWFP links Zardari's support to end of operation, Daily Times, 2008-08-25, accessed on 2008-08-25
  18. ^ PML-F to remain neutral in presidential election, Daily Times, 2008-08-25, accessed on 2008-08-25
  19. ^ Minorities want Zardari as next president: APMA, Daily Times, 2008-08-25, accessed on 2008-08-25
  20. ^ "Pakistan parties file nomination papers for presidency – People's Daily Online". English.people.com.cn. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  21. ^ Top contenders cleared for presidential elections, Daily Times, 2008-08-29, accessed on 2008-09-07
  22. ^ Three main parties' candidates in fray for Pak Prez poll, Hindustan Times, 2008-08-31, accessed on 2008-09-07
  23. ^ PPP Sherpao announces support for Zardari, Pakistan Tribune, 2008-08-31, accessed on 2008-09-01
  24. ^ afp.google.com, Zardari wins Pakistan presidential election: officials Archived 7 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ news.bbc.co.uk, Bhutto's widower wins presidency
  26. ^ nytimes.com, Zardari Is Elected Pakistan's President
  27. ^ timesofindia.indiatimes.com, Zardari front-runner Archived 3 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ afp.google.com, Bhutto's widower set to become Pakistan president Archived 9 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ thenews.com.pk, Presidential election polling completed in Senate, underway in assemblies
  30. ^ ap.google.com, Police: 12 dead in suicide car blast in Pakistan[dead link]
  31. ^ "MPAs violate sanctity of secret ballot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly". Geo.tv. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  32. ^ "YouTube – PML(N) response to violation of secret ballot by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa MPA". Youtube.com. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  33. ^ Mixed reaction on Zardari's election as President Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Post, 2008-09-07, accessed on 2008-09-07
  34. ^ Dictatorship has been defeated: Nawaz Sharif, Daily Times, 2008-09-07, accessed on 2008-09-07
  35. ^ Pakistan's Zardari prepares for presidency, AFP, 2008-09-07, accessed on 2008-09-07
  36. ^ President Zardari, Dawn, 2008-09-07, accessed on 2008-09-07
  37. ^ Outcry as Asif Ali Zardari is elected president of Pakistan, The Guardian, 2008-09-06, accessed on 2008-09-07
  38. ^ US welcomes Zardari win in Pakistan, Al Jazeera, 2008-09-07, accessed on 2008-09-07

External links[edit]