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Former Pakistan PM Bhutto Hints at Power-Sharing Deal


04 October 2007

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says she expects to reach a power-sharing agreement with President Pervez Musharraf by the end of the day.

Ms. Bhutto told reporters in London that her Pakistan's People's Party expects to receive an ordinance Thursday that would grant amnesty to her and other politicians charged with corruption.

The amnesty has been a key demand of Ms. Bhutto, who went into self-imposed exile eight years ago to escape prosecution.

Earlier Thursday, General Musharraf's government said it was optimistic about reaching a breakthrough in talks with the former prime minister.

On Wednesday, members of Ms. Bhutto's political party threatened to quit their seats in parliament in a bid to undermine the credibility of Saturday's presidential election. An announcement on that decision is expected later Thursday.

Pakistan's president is chosen by the federal parliament and provincial assemblies - not by a direct vote.

General Musharraf has a majority in the parliament.

In related news, Pakistan's Supreme Court has resumed hearing last-minute petitions challenging President Musharraf's re-election bid.

General Musharraf has vowed to quit as army chief if re-elected president. On Tuesday, he nominated a former top intelligence chief to replace him as head of the army.



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