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Pakistan opposition parties agree on reinstating ousted CJ in coalition deal

[JURIST] Pakistan’s two main opposition parties have agreed to form a coalition government and to work together towards the reinstatement of ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] and other dismissed superior court judges, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], head of the Pakistan Muslim League [party website], and Asif Zardari [BBC profile], new leader of the Pakistan People’s Party [party website], announced at a Thursday press conference. The two parties won approximately 60 percent of the 272 seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan [official website] in last Monday's parliamentary election. Chaudhry himself broke a long silence under virtual house arrest [DNA Report], telling a gathering of Karachi lawyers by telephone that he will resume his duties as Chief Justice as soon as he is released from his official residence. BBC News has more.

Chaudhry has been under virtual house arrest [JURIST report] since November. Chaudhry was ousted as the country anticipated a Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report] on whether Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had been eligible to run for re-election as Pakistan's president while still army chief. He and the other ousted judges have since been formally retired [JURIST report], although they and their supporters insist that they still legally hold office under Pakistan's constitution.

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