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Pakistani lawmakers have elected veteran politician Mamnoon Hussain as the country’s new president.

The head of state is largely a ceremonial post which is not voted for in a popular ballot, but by lawmakers in the Senate, the National Assembly and the assemblies of the country’s four provinces.

Hussain will be sworn in at the start of September replacing Asif Ali Zardari who is stepping down at the end of his five-year term.

The new president-elect is a trusted long time ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and was an active member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.

The 73-year-old resigned his membership after the results were announced in what is seen as a symbolic move to establish himself as a non-partisan president.

The main opposition the Pakistan People’s Party boycotted the vote over a change in the election schedule.

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