Pakistan's president says he will not run for re-election when his term expires later this year.

President Asif Ali Zardari's comments came during an interview aired Sunday night with Pakistani television stations.

The decision was widely expected after his party, the Pakistan People's Party, was trounced in the May 11 nationwide election.

Under Pakistan's constitution the president is elected by members of both houses of parliament as well as provincial legislatures. Zardari would have been unlikely to have enough support to win another term.

Zardari is the widower of the former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in 2007 after she returned to Pakistan to contest elections. He had little experience in politics but rode to power on a wave of sympathy following her assassination.