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Former Pakistani PM not to take part in by-elections
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08:40, May 04, 2008

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Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will not contest the by-elections in the coming month, his spokesman said Saturday.

Sharif was barred from taking part in the February 18 parliamentary elections as his nomination papers were rejected by the election authorities because of his conviction on corruption charges during the eight-year rule of President Pervez Musharraf.

Sharif earlier hinted to contest the by-elections but his spokesman Siddiqul Farooq said that Sharif had indicated in a meeting with party leaders Friday not to take part in the polls.

Sharif has ruled two times and his government was dismissed by Musharraf in 1999.

Sharif was arrested after the dismissal of his government and was later given life term in jail on various cases, including corruption. Sharif denied charges and described the charges as politically motivated.

He was sent into exile to Saudi Arabia in 2000 and his jail term has ended.

He was allowed to return in November 2007 but was blocked by the election authorities to take part in the elections.

Sharif told party leaders that his younger brother Shehbaz Sharif would contest by-elections but did not indicate that he would contest, according to Farooq.

Farooq said that 50 percent of the party leaders were not in favor of Sharif's taking part in the by-elections under present circumstances as there is no need for him to contest in the elections.  


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