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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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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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