Asif Ali Zardari steps down as president of Pakistan

Sept. 8, 2013 at 12:53 PM
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LAHORE, Pakistan, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari left office Sunday, becoming the first democratically elected head of state in the country to complete a five-year term.

The ceremony was broadcast live from the president's house one day before newly elected Mamnoon Hussain is scheduled to take the oath as the next president, The New York Times reported.

Zardari said he wants to reorganize his Pakistan Peoples Party after he leaves office, but has no plans to run for the office of prime minister.

"Becoming president is the optimum of politics," he said during an interview with GEO news network.

Pakistan Peoples Party leaders were organizing a political reception Sunday at Bialwal House in Lahore to celebrate Zardari, the Times reported.

Zadari's tenure as president of Pakistan was tumultuous, marred by controversies and political upheavals, the newspaper said. He faces allegations of financial corruption, averted a possible military coup and suffered a nervous breakdown during his time in office.

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