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Dec 18,2007
Sharif election ban appeal rejected
by UPI

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The Pakistan election commission has refused to review the ban on former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from running in the Jan. 8 elections.

Lawyers for Sharif had asked the chief election commissioner to reject a returning officer's decision last month that disallowed Nawaz from contesting the elections, The Daily Times said.

The original rejection of Sharif's nomination papers was based on past criminal convictions which the candidate called trumped up. The Daily Times, quoting sources, said the election commission ruled Sharif's review appeal should have been submitted to relevant tribunals for which the deadline had passed.

The rejection of Sharif's nomination removes the biggest challenge to President Pervez Musharraf in the January elections.

Musharraf came to power in 1999 after overthrowing Sharif in a bloodless coup. Sharif was later exiled to Saudi Arabia from where he recently returned to run as leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N party.

The other main contestant is Benazir Bhutto, another former prime minister who heads the Pakistan People's Party.

Musharraf ended his six-week-old emergency rule last Saturday and restored the constitution. He has, however, refused to reinstate the judges he dismissed when he imposed the emergency. Sharif had been campaigning for their reinstatement.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Related news
Sharif to boycott Pakistan elections by UPI posted on Dec 27,2007

Pakistan court denies Sharif's seat bid by UPI posted on Dec 03,2007

Sharif seeks to lead Pakistan opposition by UPI posted on Jan 04,2008

Pakistan bracing for political showdown by UPI posted on Aug 31,2007

Bhutto: Party may still boycott election by UPI posted on Nov 30,2007

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