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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

New Poll Finds Pakistanis Want President Musharraf to Quit

By VOA News
13 December 2007

A new opinion poll indicates more than two-thirds of Pakistanis are angry at the current state of affairs and want President Pervez Musharraf to resign.

The U.S.-based nonprofit International Republican Institute conducted the survey. It finds only one-third of those polled are supportive of Mr. Musharraf. More than 3,500 people from all four of Pakistan's provinces were surveyed.

The poll finds nearly 60 percent of Pakistanis oppose a U.S.-backed proposal in which President Musharraf and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto would form a unity government.

The survey found no Pakistani leader holds a majority of support in the run-up to the January 8 parliamentary elections. Thirty percent of those polled chose Ms. Bhutto's party, 25 percent said they support former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party, and 23 percent backed President Musharraf's party.

A majority of those surveyed also denounced the imposition of emergency rule, which the president is set to lift on Saturday.

Pakistan's attorney general Malik Qayyum Thursday said Mr. Musharraf will restore the constitution with minor amendments on December 15.

A senior lawyer with Pakistan's Supreme Court, Abrar Hasan, said the country's lawyers are planning to challenge the legitimacy of President Musharraf's re-election in court, once emergency rule is lifted.

Also Thursday, more than 1,000 lawyers rallied in the eastern city of Lahore and called for the re-instatement of Supreme Court justices removed under emergency rule. A similar rally was held in the city of Multan.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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