Pakistani opposition sign coalition government deal
( dpa )- Pakistan's election-winning opposition parties ironed out their differences Sunday and agreed on reinstating deposed judges 30 days after the formation of the coalition government, it was announced at a joint news conference.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of assassinated former premier Benazir Bhutto and the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) of Nawaz Sharif , also a former premier, will form a government together as soon as parliament convenes.
The opposition parties, which routed President Pervez Musharraf's political backers in the February 18 elections, have been slow to form a government as the process and timing of reinstating senior judges Musharraf removed from office under an emergency order on November 3, is proving a major stumbling block.
"It was decided that reinstatement of the deposed judges shall be brought about by parliamentary resolution within 30 days of the formation of the federal governmebt ," Sharif read from a joint agreement the parties signed in Bhurban hotel in Murree north of Islamabad.
The 30-day period was a compromise. The PML-N had wanted to immediately reinstate the deposed justices, a move that could have annoyed the embattled president. The PPP favoured avoiding a direct confrontation with Musharraf .
The parties also said Sharif's party would be part of the federal government. They did not name their choice for prime minister, but Sharif said he would support whoever the PPP names.
The PPP, having won the most seats in the election, will choose the prime minister.
Musharraf said Friday he would convene the new parliament within two weeks and assured the coalition government of his full support.
Bhutto and Sharif's parties finished first and second in the February 18 election, while the ruling Pakistan Muslim League- Quaid , Musharraf's political backers, finished a distant third and was relegated to the opposition.