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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

President Musharraf names his Army chief successor

RIA Novosti

02/10/2007 17:47 ISLAMABAD, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf has nominated a new Army commander, Pakistani television reported on Tuesday.

If Musharaff is reelected in the October 6 presidential election, he has vowed to give up his military title. The newly-nominated Lieutenant General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani will now take over as commander-in-chief.

The opposition parties have vowed to boycott the election and promised to resign from parliament and assemblies of all four provinces if Musharraf is re-elected.

The presidential election is to be followed by the parliamentary.

General Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1999. After the 2002 parliamentary election, Musharraf retained his presidential and military titles, as well as the right to dissolve parliament and dismiss the government.

Two exiled former prime ministers - Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto - have already expressed their intention to run for seats in the new parliament.

Bhutto, who leads Pakistan People's party, earlier said she was planning to return home on October 18, after more than eight years of self-imposed exile.

Sharif returned to Pakistan on September 10, but was deported to Saudi Arabia shortly after his plane had touched down at Islamabad airport.

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