ISLAMABAD (CNN) -- Pakistani politicians have chosen a close ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to serve as the country's president, Pakistani state broadcaster PTV reported Tuesday.
Mamnoon Hussain, a well-known businessman from the southern city of Karachi, was elected to the largely ceremonial role in a vote by federal and provincial officials across the country.
Pakistan's Election Commission said a formal announcement would be made later Tuesday.
Since the presidency is a nonpartisan role, Hussain would have to resign from the Pakistan Muslim League-N party, which Sharif leads.
Hussain would succeed President Asif Ali Zardari, one of Sharif's longtime political rivals.
The presidency was more powerful under Pervez Musharraf, the army general who held the office from 2001 to 2008 after he led a 1999 military coup. But after Zardari became president, a constitutional amendment reduced presidential powers in April 2010.