Pakistan coalition parties reach deal
Mar 14,2008 00:00 by UPI

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The two main Pakistani parties set to form a coalition government have reportedly reached a deal on power sharing.

The Pakistan People's Party of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, which won the largest number of seats in national assembly elections last month, will hold a 54 percent share in the federal Cabinet, Pakistan's leading English daily Dawn reported.

The Pakistan Muslim League-N, led by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will get a 40 percent share and the Awami National Party, the third component in the coalition, will get 6 percent, the report said.

The other faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, which had supported President Pervez Musharraf, will sit in the opposition after being soundly defeated in the polls.

Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, one of the coalition leaders, told Dawn the various ministries would be allocated after further negotiations.

Hashmi was quoted as saying lawyers, the media and members of civil society would be taken into confidence when taking Cabinet decisions and that the reinstatement of judges, who were dismissed when Musharraf imposed emergency rule for six weeks last November, would the coalition's highest priority.

The candidate for Pakistan's prime minister is yet to be nominated.

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