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Impeachment threat for Musharraf

PAKISTAN, August 7 – Pakistan’s ruling coalition parties said they have agreed "in principle" to start impeachment proceedings against President Pervez Musharraf.

Party representatives are said to be looking at a draft impeachment resolution, but further details about how it may proceed were not available.

The president’s allies were defeated in elections in February, but he has so far resisted pressure to quit.

Latest reports say Musharraf has cancelled a trip to the Olympics.

News agencies quoted the foreign ministry as saying Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani would attend the Games’ opening ceremony in Beijing instead.

Impeachment proposers need 50% majority in Senate or National Assembly
President given notice of impeachment, and has three days to respond
Joint session of Senate and Assembly must be held between 7 and 14 days later to investigate charges

If resolution presented, joint session must approve with two-thirds majority


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President dissolves parliament, placing country under emergency rule to prevent impeachment

But there has been no confirmation from the president’s office.

Correspondents say the question of whether or not to impeach Mr Musharraf has threatened to divide the coalition.

Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) formed an alliance with the PML-N of former Prime Minister Narwaz Sharif after defeating Musharraf’s political allies in February.

But they have since been split over the issues of presidential impeachment and the reinstatement of judges sacked by President Musharraf during a state of emergency in November.

Exactly what course of action Sharif and Zardari have decided to take is expected to be announced at a joint news conference later.

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