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Zardari Steps Down After Completing Presidential Term

Outgoing Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari

Outgoing Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has stepped down after completing his five-year term, becoming the country's first democratically elected leader to serve a full term in office.

His departure from the office with a guard of honor on September 8 was in stark contrast to the exits of previous leaders, who were ousted, forced into exile, arrested, or even hanged.

Jahangir Badar, one of Zardari's closest aides and a member of his Pakistan People's Party said "it is a great achievement ... It shows democracy is getting roots in Pakistan."

Mamnoon Hussain, a businessman associated with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will replace Zardari.

Hussain is scheduled to be sworn in September 9.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP