Pakistani president steps down on term completion

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is stepping down at the end of his five year term, becoming the first democratically elected president in the country’s history to complete his full tenure in office.

His spokesman Farhatullah Babar says the presidency is holding a farewell ceremony Sunday.

Zardari rose to power after assassination of his wife, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in a gun and bomb attack in Dec. 2007.

Analysts count his government’s completion of a full term in a hostile political environment to his credit, as well as his strong stance against Islamic militancy.

They say mismanagement of the economy and failure to tackle the country’s energy crisis hurt Zardari’s popularity.

Mamnoon Hussain, from the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, is set to replace Zardari as president.

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