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Officials Say Musharraf to Take Oath as Civilian President on Thursday


Senior Pakistani officials say President Pervez Musharraf will resign as army chief and take the oath of office as a civilian president on Thursday.

The president's spokesman, Rashid Qureshi and an Army spokesman, Major General Wahid Arshad separately made the announcement to news organizations (BBC, AFP, and APTN) on Monday.

Pakistani officials made similar predictions last week, saying General Musharraf would step down as army chief a few days ago.

In other political developments, former Pakistani prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto have each registered to run in parliamentary elections set for January 8.

Their parties belong to an opposition coalition that is considering an election boycott if the president does not lift emergency rule.

Hours before filing his papers in Lahore on Monday, Mr. Sharif vowed that he would never be a part of any coalition government serving under General Musharraf.

Ms. Bhutto submitted her registration papers on Sunday, one day ahead of the deadline.

It was the same day that Mr. Sharif flew into Lahore from Saudi Arabia, where he spent the past seven years in exile.

White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino said she does not know if U.S. officials have met with Mr. Sharif.

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

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