Zardari may secure second term as Pak Prez
Islamabad: Asif Ali Zardari appears set to secure another term as Pakistan`s President even if his ruling PPP fails to win a majority in Parliament in the next general election in 2013, a media report said today.
However, Zardari has to ensure that elections for half the seats in the 100-member Senate, or upper house of Parliament, take place according to schedule in March next year, a close aide of the President told The Express Tribune newspaper.
"That is what he is striving for now. He believes if the Senate elections are held under the current set-up according to the scheduled timing, nobody can stop him from winning another term," said an official from the PPP considered one of the closest allies of Zardari.
Senate elections, for which the provincial assemblies constitute the electoral college, are set to give the PPP a simple majority in the upper house if they are held under the current set-up, the report said.
Members of the Senate, National Assembly or lower house of Parliament and four provincial assemblies vote to elect the President.
The presidential polls are held on one-man one-vote basis in Parliament. But votes of members of provincial assemblies are counted in proportion to 65-strong Balochistan legislature ? an equation that would render the anticipated strength of PPP`s main opponent PML-N in Punjab almost irrelevant.
PPP masterminds assessing the political situation believe there will be fierce competition in the next general election.
Their view is that the difference in the number of seats between the PPP and PML-N will be "very small though highly significant."
Zardari already has a formula to swing numbers in his favour, the report said.