Bhutto to Enter Election, Sharif to Boycott

Split opposition in Pakistan strengthens Musharraf's hand
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 8:00 AM CST
People watch a televised speech of Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf at an electronic shop in Karachi, Pakistan on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007. Musharraf promised Thursday to lift Pakistan's state of...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pakistan's opposition is split on participating in January's parliamentary elections following Pervez Musharraf's promise to lift emergency rule. Benazir Bhutto's party has said that, despite heavy reservations, it will take part. But Nawaz Sharif told Reuters that he and his party will boycott unless the judges Musharraf purged are reinstated.

Bhutto is expected to unveil her party's manifesto later today. A united boycott could severely harm Musharraf's credibility, but so long as Bhutto and Sharif cannot agree, Musharraf will reap the rewards, said one analyst. "If the opposition gets divided the benefit goes to the government."