Pakistani president steps down on term completion

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Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari stepped down on Sunday at the end of his five-year term.

Zardari is the first democratically elected president in Pakistan's history to complete a full tenure in office.

The presidency is holding a farewell ceremony for the former president on Sunday, stated his spokesman Farhatullah Babar.

Zardari rose to power after the assassination of his wife, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in December 2007.

Benazir Bhutto was a politician and stateswoman who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from November 1988 until October 1990, and 1993 until her final dismissal on November 1996.

Zardari's completion of a full term in Pakistan's hostile political environment has been applauded by analysts, as has his strong anti-Islamic militancy stance.

Analysts say that Zardari's popularity was hurt by mismanagement of the economy and failure to tackle the country's energy crisis.

Mamnoon Hussain, from the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is set to replace Zardari as president.

(With AP)

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