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Pakistan ex-PM Sharif calls for fresh elections

(Xinhua)

09:15, August 18, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani opposition leader Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday called for fresh parliamentary elections, which he said is the only option to resolve the country' s problems.

It is the first time that Nawaz Sharif has called for fresh elections.

Sharif, former Prime Minister and leader of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), told the local Geo television in an interview that he had advised President Asif Ali Zardari four months ago to hold fresh elections.

"It was a sincere advice but President Zardari turned down the proposal," he said.

The government has rejected all similar demands from other opposition groups and said it would complete five-year term and fresh elections will be held in early 2013.

Sharif has been critical about the government policies but he has never asked for fresh polls. He said the rulers have disappointed the masses and a fresh mandate is necessary now.

"New elections would remove the clouds of disappointment," Sharif said.

The PML-N leader said that Pakistan is facing the problems of lawlessness, power outage, price hike and unemployment and new election is the only solution to these problems.

He said that Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani can dissolve the National Assembly and announce fresh elections as he himself had done the same in 1993.

"Masses have lost patience and they should be given opportunity to elect new representatives," Sharif said.

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