Pakistan elections

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Pakistan's Prez Steps Down, 1st in History to Finish Term

Asif Ali Zardari hands over power after 5-year term

(Newser) - The bar isn't set really high in Pakistani politics, because leaving office willingly when you're supposed to makes history: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari stepped down today at the end of his five-year term, becoming the first democratically elected president in the country's history to complete his... More »

Sharif Heads for Victory in Pakistan

Ex-PM looks set to cruise to 3rd term in landmark elections

(Newser) - Pakistan's former prime minister appears headed to return to the office for a third term as the restive country makes its first democratic transition since 1970, reports the New York Times . Early returns this morning show Nawaz Sharif's party easily securing enough seats to form a government—besting... More »

Pakistan Begins Landmark Vote

For first time, one civilian government hands off to another

(Newser) - Defying threats of violence, Pakistanis streamed to the polls today for a historic vote pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister and an unpopular incumbent. But militant attacks that killed 22 people underlined the risks many people took just casting their ballots.The violence was a continuation... More »

Could Pakistan Soon Quit the War on Terror?

Leading PM candidate Nawaz Sharif says he'd do just that

(Newser) - Pakistan's leading candidate for prime minister has said he'll escort the country out of the US-led "war on terror" if elected on Saturday. Nawaz Sharif tells the BBC , "We have to" quit the effort, arguing that the move would be a step toward peace both in... More »

Gunmen Kidnap Ex-Pakistan PM's Son at Election Rally

Guard killed, 5 wounded in gun attack

(Newser) - Gunmen have attacked an election rally in Pakistan's southern Punjab province and abducted the son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistani officials say. Unknown attackers stormed the rally in the town of Multan, opened fire, and seized Ali Haider Gilani today, a police official says. "One... More »

Taliban Bombs Own Allies at Pakistan Rally

Protection racket suspected after blast kills 20

(Newser) - A bomb tore through an election rally in Pakistan's tribal belt yesterday, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens more in the deadliest incident yet in the violence-plagued run-up to this Saturday's election. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, but while other attacks have targeted liberal,... More »

Pakistan Boots Musharraf From Election

Onetime military dictator having a rough time mounting a comeback

(Newser) - Pervez Musharraf has got to be feeling more than a little unloved these days: Pakistani judges today disqualified Musharraf from running in an upcoming parliamentary election, a blow to the former military ruler who recently returned from self-imposed exile to make a political comeback. Musharraf had won approval a week... More »

Pakistan: Musharraf Can Run for Parliament

Ex-dictator finds a friendly northern province that will let him run

(Newser) - Pakistan has given former military ruler Pervez Musharraf the go-ahead today to run for parliament next month, a victory for him in what has otherwise been a bumpy return to the country after more than four years in self-imposed exile. Musharraf's return has been largely ignored—with the exception... More »

Pakistani Gunmen Kill 21 in Karachi

Shootings occur during election, may be gang-related

(Newser) - Gunmen have killed at least 21 Pakistanis in Karachi today in a hail of bullets that accompanies a special election to replace a lawmaker who was slain two months ago. The violence may be linked to the city's two main political parties, both of which are seeking the open seat,... More »

Pakistani Democracy Is Achievable: Bhutto Widower

Zardari: stakes high in Saturday's elections

(Newser) - Pakistan, still reeling from Benazir Bhutto's assassination and Pervez Musharraf's resignation, can get a grip on terrorists and win the fight against dictatorship, insists Bhutto’s widower in a Washington Post op-ed outlining the stakes in Saturday's election. Asif Ali Zardari, who’s running for president, vows to continue his... More »

Pakistan's Sharif Faces Charges of Corruption

Prosecutors go after former PM days before presidential vote

(Newser) - Nawaz Sharif, whose party recently pulled out of Pakistan's ruling coalition, is about to face corruption charges, Pakistani prosecutors said today. A two-time prime minister whom Pervez Musharraf deposed in 1999, Sharif will be charged with money laundering and loan defaults, as well as "the accumulation of wealth beyond... More »

Musharraf Will Quit Tomorrow, Flee: Mag

Presidential spokesman denies allegations

(Newser) - Pakistan President Musharraf will likely resign tomorrow, a former Musharraf aide told Newsweek, and flee to Saudi Arabia for three months of exile. Pakistan's top military commanders are aware of the news, but Musharraf's camp officially denies the story. "Your source is a liar. The information you have is... More »

Bhutto's Party to Name Next Pakistani PM

Shariz allies drop candidate as 'goodwill gesture' to PPP

(Newser) - The party of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said today it will name Pakistan's next premier this weekend, AFP reports. After former PM Nawaz Sharif's party pulled their  candidate as a "goodwill gesture," the PPP candidate will likely be sworn in Tuesday without much debate, the AP reports.... More »

Bhutto's Party Delays PM Decision

Meeting ends without expected nom; Bhutto widower will decide

(Newser) - Benazir Bhutto's party deferred its choice for PM candidate today, adding greater uncertainty to Pakistan's volatile political landscape, Bloomberg reports. Makhdoom Amin Fahim, the Pakistan People's Party's No. 2 and a longtime Bhutto loyalist, had been expected to take the top job today. But a meeting of the party's newly... More »

Bush Push for Musharraf Angers Pakistan

Media turns on US as Washington supports beleaguered president

(Newser) - His political future might be in doubt, but Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf is still receiving forceful backing from the Bush administration after his party's drubbing in parliamentary elections—and it's angering Pakistanis, reports the New York Times. "I’ve never seen such an irrational, impractical move on the part... More »

Nawaz Sharif Says He'll Run for Parliament

Ex-PM plots return to political power after election victory

(Newser) - Nawaz Sharif will stand in a special election for a vacant seat in Pakistan's parliament, he said yesterday, opening the way for his return to political power. The two-time prime minister, whose Muslim League is set to form a coalition government with Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party after last week's... More »

Besieged Musharraf in 'Dangerous Mindset'

Pakistani prez 'sulking' after election defeat

(Newser) - Is Pervez Musharraf paranoid, or is everyone out to get him? After his party's hammering in this week's election, the answer seems to be both, the Guardian reports. "He's been sulking," said a senior party official of the Pakistani president. "He's retreated into a mental bunker. It's... More »

Musharraf Pushes Swiss to Prosecute Foe

Alleges Bhutto widower stashed $55M in Swiss bank account

(Newser) - As the battle to control Pakistan heats up, President Pervez Musharraf's lawyers have asked the Swiss government to prosecute Asif Ali Zardari over decade-old corruption charges. Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto and leader of the victorious Pakistan People's Party, is charged with hiding $55 million in kickbacks in a... More »

Musharraf Opposition Seek to Build Alliance

Parties of Bhutto, Sharif look to each other, smaller partners

(Newser) - The party of fallen Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto is moving toward an alliance with longtime rival Nawaz Sharif after a strong showing in Monday's parliamentary election, Reuters reports. A coalition of the two parties, along with smaller independents, could control enough of the legislature to oust President Pervez Musharraf,... More »

Musharraf Plans to Stay Prez Despite Loss

Hopes to forge alliance and aid 'in a positive way'

(Newser) - Pervez Musharraf wants to stay president despite his party's crushing defeat in Pakistan's national election, he told the Wall Street Journal today. He said he hopes to aid the country's transition to democracy and cooperate with the next prime minister. "We have to move forward in a way that... More »

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