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Pakistan election commission clears ex-PM Sharif to run in by-election

[JURIST] The Election Commission of Pakistan [official website] Sunday cleared former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] and his younger brother to run in the June 26 by-elections. Sharif was barred [JURIST report] from running in the February 18 national parliamentary elections because of criminal convictions arising out of circumstances surrounding the 1999 coup against him led by then-General and now-Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf. A local election tribunal was unable to reach a unanimous decision [Daily Times report] Wednesday on whether Sharif could run, and the case was sent to the chief election commissioner. The case had not yet been decided when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) [party website] officials announced Sharif's nomination [Daily Times report] on Friday. On Sunday the commission cleared all objections against Sharif's nomination and allowed him to run. If he wins, he will become the PML-N's leader in the National Assembly. AFP has more.

Sharif and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) [party website] leader Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile] have recently disagreed [JURIST report] over proposed constitutional amendments [JURIST report] aimed at limiting executive power and at restoring the judiciary ousted by Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule last year. The PML-N had pushed for the judges to be reinstated without condition and now want judicial reinstatement through a parliamentary resolution, but the PPP has insisted on restrictions on the judges' power and reinstatement through constitutional amendments.

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