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Musharraf will not step down as Pakistan president: allies

[JURIST] According to high-level supporters on Friday, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [official website; JURIST news archive] has affirmed his June vow [Dawn report] that he will neither step down nor go into exile, despite the recent pressure from opposition forces. Secretary General of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q [party website] party Mushahid Hussain said that Musharraf will fight against impeachment, with plans to portray himself as an honest leader in comparison to Pakistan People's Party (PPP) head Asif Ali Zardari [BBC profile] and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) head Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive], both of whom have faced corruption accusations in the past. On Thursday, Pakistan's coalition government said that it would push to impeach Musharraf [JURIST report], a move that would require the endorsement of two-thirds of legislators in a joint session of parliament. The New York Times has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

PPP and coalition partner PML-N officials have disagreed [JURIST report] on how to limit or amend Musharraf's powers, with the PML-N generally favoring resignation or impeachment and the PPP favoring working with Musharraf to improve the country's political system. PPP leaders took a tougher stance in June, stating that Musharraf was only president by default and warning that if he did not step down, the parliament would impeach him [The News report]. The PML-N then called for Musharraf's impeachment [JURIST report] and released a "charge sheet" outlining misuse of presidential authority, including the dismissal of the country's superior court judges. Also in June, PML-N leader and former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [JURIST news archive] called for Musharraf to be tried for treason [JURIST report], labeling him a traitor disloyal to Pakistan and saying he should be punished for the "damage" that he has done to the country in the years since he led a military coup [BBC backgrounder] and unseated Sharif in 1999.

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