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Pakistan to elect new president on September 6

Pakistan to elect new president on September 6

Pakistan will hold a presidential election on September 6 to pick a successor to Pervez Musharraf, who resigned this week to avoid impeachment charges, the election commission said yesterday.
The announcement came as a key member of the feuding coalition government extended his deadline for the reinstatement of judges sacked by Musharraf last year, an issue that threatens to tear apart the ruling alliance.
A double Taliban suicide bombing at Pakistan's biggest weapons factory on Thursday, the deadliest ever attack on a Pakistani military site, has put fresh pressure on the coalition to end its bickering.
"Presidential elections will be held on September 6. The nomination papers can be filed from August 26," election commission secretary Kanwar Dilshad told a news conference.
Under Pakistan's constitution, the new president must be elected by a simultaneous sitting of the upper and lower houses of the national parliament and the country's four provincial assemblies, he said.
Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto and now leader of her Pakistan People's Party, is the frontrunner for the presidency after the party's MPs urged him to stand for the post.
The PPP, which won the most seats in elections in February, is expected to formally nominate its candidate at a meeting of its central leadership later yesterday.
But it is also embroiled in a critical dispute with Nawaz Sharif, another ex-prime minister, over the restoration of the judges whom Musharraf deposed under a state of emergency last year.
Sharif pushed back his deadline for the judges to get their jobs back until Wednesday next week, having previously threatened to quit the coalition if they were not restored by yesterday.
But there was no immediate comment from Zardari or the PPP. A resolution would require its support, but it has shown no sign yet of keeping the pledge that it made in May to restore the judges.
The fate of the 60 judges, including the chief justice, who were deposed by Musharraf under emergency rule in November, has become a political sticking point with crucial repercussions for the coalition.


Updated : 2021-05-06 11:56 GMT+08:00