Pakistan coalition government to seek Musharraf impeachment

[JURIST] Pakistan's coalition government said Thursday that it would push to impeach current President Pervez Musharraf [official website; JURIST news archive], a move that would require the endorsement of two-thirds of legislators in a joint session of parliament. Pakistan People's Party (PPP) head Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile] said Thursday that Musharraf had given a "clear commitment" to step down from office after his party was defeated in parliamentary elections [JURIST report], but subsequently refused to resign or go into exile. He also accused Musharraf of not following through on a promise to ask parliament for a confidence vote. PPP and coalition partner Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) officials have disagreed [JURIST report] on how to limit or amend Musharraf's powers, with the PML-N generally favoring resignation or impeachment and the PPP favoring working with Musharraf to improve the country's political system. However, after Musharraf declared [Dawn report] in June that he would neither step down nor go into exile, PPP leaders took a tougher stance, stating that Musharraf was only president by default and warning that if he did not step down, the parliament would impeach him [The News report]. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

In June, the PML-N called for Musharraf's impeachment [JURIST report] and released a "charge sheet" outlining misuse of presidential authority, including the dismissal of the country's superior court judges. Also in June, PML-N leader and former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] called for Musharraf to be tried for treason [JURIST report], labeling him a traitor disloyal to Pakistan and saying he should be punished for the "damage" that he has done to the country in the years since he led a military coup [BBC backgrounder] and unseated Sharif in 1999.

 

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