ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's election commission Wednesday officially declared Dr Arif Alvi as the 13th president of the country after an official count showed he had secured 352 votes -- 44 more than his two rivals could collectively obtain.
Dr Arif Alvi, a close ally of Prime Minister Imran Khan and one of the founding members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, defeated Pakistan Peoples Party candidate Aitzaz Ahsan and the Pakistan Muslim League-N nominee Maulana Fazl ur Rehman in a three-way contest.
The 69-year-old dentist secured 352 votes while his rivals Rehman and Ahsan clinched 184 and 124 votes respectively, Dawn reported, citing the Form VII issued by the returning officer.
The results of Tuesday's election were prepared in the presence of the representatives of the three candidates at the election commission headquarters Wednesday, with Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza serving as the returning officer, the paper said.
The election commission has sent the official results to the federal government, which will notify Dr Alvi as the 13th president of Pakistan.
The newly elected president will take oath of the office on September 9. Outgoing President Mamnoon Hussain's five-year tenure ends on September 8.
Of the 430 votes cast via a secret ballot in the National Assembly and Senate, Alvi received 212 votes, Rehman bagged 131 and Ahsan garnered 81; six votes were rejected.
Alvi is one of the founding members of PTI. He served as the party's secretary general from 2006 to 2013.
He won the National Assembly elections from NA-247 (Karachi) during the July 25 polls. He was also elected member of the National Assembly in the 2013 general election.
In Pakistan, the President is considered as a symbol of the federation and head of the state and exercises all powers on the recommendations of the prime minister.
Prime Minister Khan, who is said to have the backing of the powerful military establishment, has consolidated his grip over power by nominating the governors of all four provinces and appointing his key ally as the chief minister of the most populous and politically crucial state of Punjab.
With his close ally Alvi as President, Khan can smoothly implement his agenda, according to observers.