Impeachment proceedings against Pervez Musharraf (photo), the Pakistani president, will be launched, has announced the coutry’s ruling coalition.
The announcement has been made on Thursday afternoon at a news conference, by the leader of Pakistan’s ruling coalition, Asif Ali Zardari, widower of slain ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
“We have good news for democracy”, Mr Zardari said. “The coalition believes it is imperative to move for impeachment against General Musharraf.”
After its election in February, president Musharraf had failed to get a vote of confidence from the new government, said Mr Zardari. He added that “the economic policies pursued by President Musharraf during the past eight years have brought Pakistan to the brink of critical economic impasse”.
“His policies have weakened the federation and eroded the trust of the nation in national institutions.”
During Mr Zardari’s speech to the press, Pervez Musharraf has been warned against dismissing parliament, in a bid to avoid the impeachment proceedings.
Previously, the twin issues of what to do about president Musharraf and how to carry out their pledge in order to reinstate senior judges sacked by him last year under emergency law, had split the coalition.
‘Not that simple’
But on Wednesday night, an agreement was reached said officials, when Mr Zardari (photo, from topnews.in) has been assured by Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, that he could count on the support of former PML-N members who currently belong to a pro-Musharraf party..
Although the president’s office made no immediate response, Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Islamabad, said there was still a little way to go before the president was censured.
He said that “many people across the country believe it’s not going to be that simple and the process of impeachment will be a complex one”.
“The president still has a few tricks up his sleeve.”
In order to impeach a president, the ruling coalition has to gather a two-third majority in both houses of parliament, and Musharraf loyalists maintain the coalition would struggle to muster enough support.
President Musharraf cancelled his trip to the Beijing Olympics earlier in the day, as the deal to impeach him emerged.