Pakistan Rivals Agree to Debate Fate of Judges

Bhutto's widower becomes frontrunner for Sept. 6 election
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2008 12:31 PM CDT
Pakistan's ruling parties are still stuck in a political dispute over the reinstatement of ousted judges.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – Pakistan's rival parties will debate next week whether to reinstate judges fired by ousted President Musharraf, a sign of compromise on an issue that has threatened to dissolve the ruling coalition, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, the nation's biggest party, the PPP, has nominated Benazir Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari, to replace Musharraf. That makes him the clear frontrunner in the Sept. 6 election.

The judges' issue has been divisive. Zardari doesn't want them reinstated because he fears his pardoned charges of graft will be restored. Political rival Nawaz Sharif, however, is demanding that they return and has threatened to quit the governing coalition. After setting a deadline of today, he now wants the issue resolved by Wednesday. The political chaos takes place amid growing violence by militants.