Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has lost his appeal to contest his rejection from parliamentary elections in Pakistan, eliminating one of the main opposition leaders from next month's vote. The election commission upheld the decision to bar Sharif from running, although no details were provided. Sharif's Muslim League had originally called for an election boycott but failed to rally adequate support.
The challenge to Sharif's eligibility stemmed from his 1999 ouster by President Pervez Musharraf and from his alleged involvement in a corruption case. His brother has also been blocked from running. Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto continued her campaign, calling Musharraf's rule a "dark era of dictatorship." Musharraf, who recently lifted emergency rule, has promised free and fair elections.