Pakistan's Supreme Court has postponed a by-election in the district where former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had hoped to run for parliament.

A court in Lahore this week banned Mr. Sharif from standing in Thursday's by-election because of convictions related to the 1999 military coup that removed him from office.

The government filed an appeal of the Lahore court's decision Wednesday.  If Mr. Sharif is not able to secure a seat in parliament he will not be able to run for prime minister.

Mr. Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, has refused to challenge the the court's ruling, saying it will not deal with judges it believes are tied to Pakistan's President, Pervez Musharraf.

In 1999, Mr. Sharif allegedly ordered the hijacking of a commercial plane carrying Mr. Musharraf, who was then the army chief.  He has denied the allegations.


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