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Pakistan to Hold Parliamentary Elections in January 2008


Pakistan's prime minister says the country will hold parliamentary elections in early January.

Shaukat Aziz says a caretaker government will be announced to organize the polls. He did not give specific dates.

The current outgoing parliament voted last week to give President Pervez Musharraf another five-year term in office. But the ballot was controversial with the majority of the opposition refusing to participate, to protest the legitimacy of the president's run while remaining in his dual role as army chief.

The Supreme Court says the results will be officially announced only after it rules on petitions challenging the president's eligibility.

General Musharraf said former prime minister Benazir Bhutto should delay her planned return home from self-imposed exile until after the court makes its decision. He made the remarks in an interview broadcast Wednesday.

President Musharraf and Ms. Bhutto have been in talks on a possible power-sharing deal.

Last week, General Musharraf granted amnesty to Ms. Bhutto. That act will allow her to return to Pakistan without fear of being arrested on corruption charges.

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