Bhutto Loyalist Frontrunner to Be Pakistan PM

Musharraf's party concedes defeat after drubbing at ballot box
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2008 4:31 AM CST
Supporters of the party of Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif celebrate the unofficial results for Pakistan's general elections in the street of Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Monday, Feb. 18, 2008....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Pervez Musharraf's party has admitted defeat after losing a resounding two-thirds of its seats in parliament in Pakistan's parliamentary elections. Although final results are still not in, Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party and Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League have crushed the president's faction, which placed a distant third. The likely next prime minister is Makhdoom Amin Fahim, 68, a Bhutto loyalist and People's Party vice chairman, reports the Times of London.

A coalition of the two main opposition parties should be forged in the coming days. One key issue is whether the new government will attempt to impeach Musharraf. Sharif and several top People's Party figures have said they want to throw out the president, while Bhutto's widower Asif Ali Zardari has said he could work with him. As for Musharraf, he promised yesterday to work with the new government "in a totally harmonious manner." (Read more Pervez Musharraf stories.)