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Musharraf unwilling to give up

February 20, 2008:

Pakistan politics has been volatile
With Musharraf loyalist Pakistan Muslim League, Quaid (PML-Q), having suffered badly in the Pakistan elections, the main opponents Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League, Nawaz (PML-N) are about to form a coalition.

PML(Q) also referred to as the King's Party has conceded defeat with most of its bigwigs having lost in the elections.

Chairman, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, said Tuesday that the party accepted results "with an open heart" and was prepared to "sit on opposition benches".

PML-N President, Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister who returned from exile in late 2007, announced that all the sacked Supreme Court judges would be reinstated.

In a face off with judiciary Musharraf had sacked top judges of the country and after imposing an emergency on November 3.

With main opponents getting into power assertions about impeaching Musharraf are rife in the country.

Analysts say President Musharraf, former military dictator who shed uniform after securing a second term as president, has never looked so weak since he first came to power in a bloodless coup in 1999 ousting Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister.

Sharif has already made calls for the President to resign, but Musharraf told Wall Street Journal that he has no plans to resign and would work with new government.

Polling in Pakistan took place on Monday after being deferred from January 8 following assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27.

Around 80,000 troops and 400,000 police were deployed across the country to prevent violence.

Over 400 people were killed and scores injured during the weeks preceding polls.

A non profit election monitoring group, Free and Fair Elections Network indicated voter turnout in elections about 35 percent.

About 81 million people were eligible to vote in the country.

Independent assessments put the turnout equivalent to 1997 elections for being the lowest in Pakistan's history.

The US State Department described Monday's election as a "step toward the full restoration of democracy".

Musharraf has been a major US ally in the "war on terror" but his popularity has waned at home amid accusations of authoritarianism and incompetence plagued his rule.

Analysts in Pakistan are terming elections as crucial for both Pakistan and the United States.

Related Links:

Musharraf rules out resignation BBC

Musharraf aides urge Zardari to avoid Sharif NDTV

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