ISLAMABAD: Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, swept to victory in a presidential election on Saturday.
Underscoring the problems he faces, a suicide car bomber killed 16 people in an attack on a police post in the northwestern city of Peshawar. At least five of the dead were policemen, and the blast wounded about 40 people.
Investors and foreign allies led by the United States hope the election will bring some stability after months of political turmoil and rising militant violence. The uncertainty has dragged stocks and the rupee sharply lower.
A former businessman, Zardari is close to the United States and has stressed Pakistan’s commitment to the widely unpopular campaign against militancy.
Members of the two-chamber parliament and four provincial assemblies voted on a replacement for deeply unpopular former army chief Pervez Musharraf, who resigned last month nine years after taking power in a coup.
Zardari, who had been widely expected to win, secured 480 out of 702 electoral college votes, according to unofficial Election Commission results. Continue reading