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Pakistani Opposition Party Deadlocked Over Electoral Demands


Pakistan's two main opposition parties remain deadlocked over a list of demands the government must meet to prevent an election boycott.

A committee made up of the parties of former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto said Friday that it could not agree on 2 of 15 points on the list of electoral demands.

One difference focuses on the reinstatement of judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf during emergency rule. Mr. Sharif says the judges should be reinstated before the parliamentary elections, while Ms. Bhutto has indicated she wants the issue taken up after the January 8 poll.

Committee members also disagree over the deadline for the government to meet the conditions.

Both former prime ministers are expected to meet next week in an attempt to resolve the issues.

Ms. Bhutto - who is currently visiting her family in Dubai - told VOA's Urdu Service Thursday, that there is an 80 percent chance her party will participate in general elections set for January 8.

Also Friday, Pakistan's attorney general Malik Quayyum said emergency rule will be lifted a day earlier than previously announced - on December 15. President Musharraf announced plans to lift the state of emergency imposed on November 3, after relinquishing his military post and being sworn in as civilian president.

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

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