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Pakistan Opposition Parties Reach Agreement on Ruling Coalition

  • VOA News

The leaders of Pakistan's two main opposition parties have announced an agreement to form a coalition government after their landslide victory in Monday's general elections.

Pakistan People's Party leader Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League-N told a joint news conference in Islamabad Thursday they will work together on a government of national consensus.

Zardari said the two leaders will focus on strengthening Pakistan's parliament and democracy.

Sharif read a statement, in which he said the two parties also agreed on the crucial issue of reinstating the Supreme Court dismissed in November after President Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule.

Earlier in the day, lawyers demonstrated in major cities, demanding the immediate reinstatement of the dismissed senior judges, while deposed chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry called for the restoration of the judiciary.

The PPP and PML-N won the majority of seats in parliament in Monday's elections. With support from smaller parties, the opposition is close to the two-thirds majority needed in parliament to impeach Mr. Musharraf.

The president says he has no plans to resign and called for a "harmonious coalition" following a crushing defeat in the election.
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