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New Pakistan parliament could reinstate ousted judges, depose Musharraf

[JURIST] Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) [party website] conceded defeat Tuesday in parliamentary elections as unofficial results tentatively gave the opposition parties of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] approximately 60 percent of 272 seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan [official website]. Musharraf's PML-Q retained approximately 12 percent of the seats. The new parliament, which could impeach Musharraf with a two-thirds majority, could also reinstate former Supreme Court justices who were were ousted on November 3 [JURIST report] after Musharraf declared emergency rule. The reinstated Supreme Court could then issue its anticipated ruling [JURIST report] on whether Musharraf had been eligible to run for re-election as Pakistan's president while still army chief.

The parliamentary elections were held Monday after a month-long postponement [JURIST report] following the assassination of Bhutto at a rally in Rawalpindi. Last Monday, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) [profession website] launched a new nationwide lawyers' boycott of the courts [JURIST report] to protest Musharraf's ouster of Pakistani Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] and to demand his reinstatement and that of other ousted superior court judges. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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