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Pakistan set to conduct early elections to settle political crisis

Islamabad, Mon, 16 Jan 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Jan 16 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Zardari has reportedly agreed to an opposition demand to hold early elections to deal with the political crisis at home.


A vote of confidence is scheduled to take place in parliament on Monday.


The Zardari administration, which is at war with the courts, the opposition and the military establishment, has agreed to hold early national polls only after the separate election takes place in March for the Senate and the upper house of parliament, The Guardian quoted members of the ruling coalition and its advisers, as saying.


If the political parties cannot find a way out of the crisis, the threat of a coup remains, analysts have warned.


"There is no other option for the government to come out of the current crisis without elections," an adviser to the leadership of Zardari's ruling Pakistan Peoples party said, adding that this was in its interests to reach an agreement with the opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.


The Pakistan People's Party rules with three other major coalition partners, but the alliance is looking shaky, with two of the parties, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, reportedly distancing themselves from the government.


The government is willing to conduct elections in the autumn, but Sharif is believed to be pushing for an even earlier date.


Reports suggest that in order to gain his help in continuing the government, Zardari may need to accept Sharif's demand. (ANI)


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