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Rediff.com  » News » Pakistan to hold general election by May 16

Pakistan to hold general election by May 16

February 17, 2013 16:39 IST

Pakistan will hold general election by May 16 after the national and provincial assemblies are dissolved on completing their five-year term, a senior minister announced on Sunday.

"The present assemblies will be dissolved on March 16 and the election will be held within two months," Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said.

Briefing journalists after a meeting on Saturday with cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, who has been demanding electoral reforms, Kaira said the period for scrutinising electoral candidates would be 14 days instead of 30 and Qadri had no objection to this.

"According to our agreement with Qadri, we will also consult him on the nomination of the caretaker prime minister," he said.

The ruling Pakistan People's Party and its coalition partners had inked an agreement with Qadri on January 17 to end a sit-in near the parliament in Islamabad by the cleric and thousands of his followers.

Qadri led a four-day protest to press the government to act on his demands related to electoral reforms and dissolution of the election commission.

The supreme court last week rejected Qadri’s petition for dissolving the election commission and raised questions about his status as a Canadian national.

M Zulqernain in Lahore