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Pakistan Coalition Finalizes Impeachment Charges

By VOA News
17 August 2008

Members of Pakistan's ruling coalition say they have finalized a list of impeachment charges against embattled President Pervez Musharraf.

An official from the coalition, Information Minister Sherry Rehman, said Sunday the charges will be presented to parliament Tuesday, if the president does not resign before then.

The impeachment charges range from violating the constitution to misconduct.

Mr. Musharraf has refused to step down, despite increasing pressure from top Pakistani officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told U.S. media (Fox news) Sunday Washington currently is not considering granting Mr. Musharraf asylum.

Rice also said on NBC's Meet the Press Pakistan's impeachment proceedings are an internal affair, and that the U.S. supports Pakistan's new democratically elected government.

Mr. Musharraf has been a key ally in the U.S. fight against terrorism.

President Musharraf ruled largely unchallenged for years after seizing power in a bloodless military coup in 1999. But his political allies lost parliamentary elections in February, after he imposed a state of emergency and fired several judges to avoid legal challenges to his rule.

Pakistan media are reporting that Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz is helping mediate a deal between President Musharraf and the ruling coalition.

Impeaching the president requires a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Pakistan's parliament.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.



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