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Pakistan assembly votes for Musharraf resignation

[JURIST] Pakistan's Punjab Provincial Assembly [official website] on Monday voted [PTI report] to ask President Pervez Musharraf [official website; JURIST news archive] to resign or face possible impeachment by the country's parliament. Of the body's 371 members, 321 voted for the motion, including the majority of Musharraf's own Pakistan Muslim League-Q [party website] party. In response to the vote and impeachment plans [JURIST report] led by the country's coalition government, Musharraf stated he will fight the allegations of wrongdoing and asserted that the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) simply wants to impose their rule [PTI reports] over his own. For the potential impeachment to succeed, it would require the endorsement of two-thirds of legislators in a joint session of parliament. The lower house of parliament was scheduled to meet later on Monday [Hindustan Times report] to consider the move. BBC News has more.

PPP and coalition partner Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PMNL-N) leaders 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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