Pakistan's election commission on Sunday cleared the way for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his younger brother, a former chief minister, to contest June 26 by-elections, officials said.
The Sharif brothers were not allowed to take part in February 18 elections after the commission cited criminal convictions dating back to events surrounding a 1999 coup and pending criminal charges.
"All objections raised against the nomination papers of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif have been rejected and now they can contest by-elections," a spokesman for the commission said.
Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N party has joined forces with slain former premier Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which won the most seats in the February polls, in which President Pervez Musharraf's allies were trounced.
A number of constituencies are set to hold by-elections, mostly after candidates' deaths or because politicians gave up seats after winning in more than one constituency.
The ruling coalition is increasing the pressure on Musharraf to quit and they are mulling a constitution amendment package to clip the wings of US-backed president.
Sharif, a two-time prime minister, was ousted by Musharraf in a 1999 military coup.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2008, 16:42