Coalition split one week after Musharraf resignation

ISLAMABAD (updated on: August 25, 2008, 19:27 PST): PML-N pulled out of the ruling coalition on Monday, deepening a political crisis that has diverted government attention from pressing security and economic problems.

Nawaz Sharif said his main coalition partner, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which leads the coalition, had repeatedly broken promises on resolving a judicial dispute and on who should be the next president.”We therefore feel that these repeated defaults and violations have forced us to withdraw our support from the ruling coalition and sit on the opposition benches,” Sharif told a news conference.

The departure of his party is not expected to force a general election as PPP should be able to gather enough support to govern, analysts say.

The coalition, formed after former president Pervez Musharraf’s allies lost a February parliamentary election, had looked increasingly precarious since Musharraf resigned a week ago.

PML-N repeatedly threatened to leave the coalition if judges were not restored to office. Last week, he set Monday as his latest deadline.

Another divisive issue is who should be the next president.

The PPP announced on Saturday that Asif Ali Zardari would be its candidate.

Nawaz Sharif said that violated an earlier agreement with the PPP for a non-partisan candidate if the presidency retained certain powers, including to dismiss parliament.

Members of the four provincial assemblies and two houses of the national parliament will elect a new president on Sept. 6.


Source: Business Recorder


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