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Zardari prepares to be sworn in

Pakistan's President-elect Asif Ali Zardari, who has won a landslide victory in the elections to the top post, is likely to take oath on Monday or on Tuesday.
By Rezaul H Laskar | PTI, Islamabad
UPDATED ON SEP 07, 2008 06:51 PM IST

Pakistan's President-elect Asif Ali Zardari, who has won a landslide victory in the elections to the top post, is likely to take oath on Monday or on Tuesday.

"We are waiting for the notification of the presidential election's result to be issued by the Election Commission. A formal announcement about the oath-taking ceremony will be made after that," Zardari's spokesman Farhatullah Babar told Dawn newspaper.

Information Minister Sherry Rehman told a TV news channel that Zardari, who will succeed former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to be the country's 14th President, may take oath tomorrow or Tuesday.

Meanwhile, sources in the PPP said Zardari will wait for his son and Pakistan People's Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to arrive from London before an official announcement about the ceremony is made.

Zardari's former ally PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has put off a private visit to London to attend the swearing-in ceremony. Sharif was earlier scheduled to leave for London on Sunday.

The husband of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who had defeated the candidate of PML-N by an overwhelming majority in the presidential polls yesterday, has sought the support of all democratic forces in achieving the mission of bringing complete democracy to Pakistan.

"It's a historic opportunity for all political forces to change the future direction of the country. We must rise above party lines to shut the doors on non-democratic forces, once and for all," Zardari said yesterday.

Vowing to fix "imbalances" in Pakistan's political system, Zardari said the presidency under him will be subservient to parliament.

The PML-N has also urged him to establish the supremacy of parliament and reverse controversial changes made to the constitution under Musharraf.

It has asked Zardari to quit his position in the ruling Pakistan People's Party to demonstrate that he would function in a non-partisan manner in the post.

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