Zardari steps down as Pakistan’s president

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(CNN) – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari completed his five-year term and stepped down as president Sunday, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Mamnoon Hussain of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N party will be sworn in Monday as Zardari’s successor.

Hussain, a well-known businessman from the southern city of Karachi, was elected to the largely ceremonial role in a vote by federal and provincial politicians across the country.

Hussain is a close ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Zardari and Sharif are longtime political rivals.

The presidency was more powerful under Pervez Musharraf, the army general who held the office from 2001 to 2008 after he led a 1999 military coup. But after Zardari became president, a constitutional amendment reduced presidential powers in April 2010.

By CNN Staff

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