Punjab assembly asks Musharraf to seek confidence vote

August 11th, 2008 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
Islamabad, Aug 11 (Xinhua) The provincial assembly in Pakistan’s Punjab province Monday passed a resolution asking President Pervez Musharraf to take a vote of confidence. The assembly passed the resolution 321 to 25, demanding the embattled leader to seek the confidence vote, a move ahead of his formal impeachment, Geo TV channel reported.

Similar resolutions will also be adopted in three other provinces before Musharraf faces a formal impeachment motion in parliament.

A special session of Pakistan’s lower house, the National Assembly, was also convened Monday and was expected to see a tirade of accusations against the former army chief.

The coalition’s leaders were yet to finalise the parliamentary motion that would hold Musharraf accountable for alleged misconduct and repetitive violation of the constitution.

On Thursday, Pakistan’s ruling coalition parties led by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) announced that they would launch impeachment against the president.

They have reportedly finished a draft chargesheet against Musharraf containing charges of misconduct, financial irregularities, violations of the constitution and criminal acts.

But PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto’s widower, hoped that the president would choose to resign before the impeachment motion is submitted to parliament.

On Sunday, presidential spokesman Rashid Qureshi denied reports of Musharraf’s resignation, saying the allegations against the president were baseless.

The coalition, also including junior party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has been at odds with the president since it won the Feb 18 general elections and formed a new government.

Analysts say that it will take some time to move the impeachment motion in parliament as the four provincial assemblies are expected to first pass a resolution demanding Musharraf take a vote of confidence. And if Musharraf fails to take the vote, impeachment will be initiated.

The coalition needs two-thirds majority votes in a joint session of upper and lower houses to impeach an incumbent president.

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