Pakistan PM to meet opposition leaders

The MQM pullout came after Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), a religious party, quit the coalition last month after Gilani sacked one of its ministers.

Pakistan PM to meet opposition leaders

Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani plans to meet opposition leaders on Monday in a bid to head off a possible vote of no confidence after a key partner quit the governing coalition.

Gilani's government lost its parliamentary majority on Sunday after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced it would go into opposition because of what it said government fuel price policies that are "unbearable" for Pakistanis.

The MQM's withdrawal means that if opposition parties close ranks, they would be able to force a no-confidence vote on Gilani in parliament.

If the crisis deepens, an early election may be called.

Gilani is scheduled to meet the president of the biggest opposition party in the National Assembly, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) on Monday.

"The Prime Minister will discuss the political situation with Shahbaz Sharif and ways and means to resolve this crisis," an official in Gilani's office told Reuters.

He is also due to meet Chaudhry Shujaat, leader of another major opposition party, the PML-Q. "He indicated he would seek our support,"," said a party official.

The MQM pullout came after Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), a religious party, quit the coalition last month after Gilani sacked one of its ministers.

While analyst doubt that Gilani would see out his term, which ends in 2013, the chances of the opposition forming a new ruling alliance are slim. The PML-N, headed by popular politician Nawaz Sharif, does not enjoy close ties with other opposition parties.


Agencies

Last Mod: 03 Ocak 2011, 12:31
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