Pakistan President Refuses to Step Down
President Pervez Musharraf will not step down as head of state and intends to serve out his five-year-term, his spokesman says, despite a sweeping election victory by his opponents — some of whom want to drive him from power.
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Final results from this week's parliamentary poll were expected Wednesday, but with the count nearly complete, two opposition parties had won enough seats to form a new government, though they will likely
fall short of the two-thirds needed to impeach the president.
Musharraf's spokesman Rashid Qureshi said Tuesday the president intends to work with the new government and will serve out his term, which expires in 2012.
"The people on Monday didn't vote to elect a new president," he said. "In fact, they participated in the elections to elect the new parliament."
But the vote was widely seen as repudiation of Musharraf, whose approval ratings have plummeted following his decisions last year to suspend the constitution purge the
judiciary and round up political opponents.
So far, the two main opposition groups have garnered 154 of the 268 contested seats, according to the Election Commission.