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Pakistan coalition government continues talks on restoring ousted judges

[JURIST] Top members of Pakistan's government coalition have met to continue their discussion of proposals for restoring judges ousted by President Pervez Musharraf last year after he declared emergency rule [PDF text; JURIST report], according to Monday media reports. The two leading coalition parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People's Party [party websites], reportedly disagree [JURIST report] on the amount of power that the restored judges should wield, whether judges should be subject to term limits, and whether ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] should be among the judges reinstated. BBC News has more.

The coalition government, sworn in last month after parliamentary elections earlier this year, has vowed to establish a fully independent judiciary [JURIST reports]. One of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's first actions upon taking office was seeking Chaudhry's and other ousted judges' immediate release from house arrest [JURIST report]. Pakistan's attorney general has said that reinstating the ousted judges would require a constitutional amendment [JURIST report] with a two-thirds majority vote in parliament. The coalition government has pledged to restore the judges by the end of the month; Amnesty International Monday urged the government to meet that deadline [AI statement].

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