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Pakistan's Opposition Split on Parliamentary Elections


Pakistan's opposition appeared divided after former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said her party will take part in general elections next month "under protest."

Ms. Bhutto said at a news conference Friday that her Pakistan People's Party has concerns about the legitimacy of the election, which is set for January 8. She said she still may withdraw and join an opposition boycott led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Ms. Bhutto also unveiled her election platform, promising money for education, healthcare, the environment and more jobs.

Mr. Sharif says he will try to persuade Bhutto to unite with his opposition against President Pervez Musharraf.

The two former prime ministers have called for the immediate lifting of emergency rule imposed by President Musharraf earlier this month.

On Thursday, the president promised to lift the state of emergency on December 16. The announcement came after he was sworn in for a second five-year term as a civilian leader.

Mr. Musharraf resigned as head of Pakistan's powerful military a day before.

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

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