Bloomberg News

Pakistan Party May Quit Ruling Coalition in Threat to Majority

October 05, 2011

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s third largest political party may quit the coalition of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani after its key demands were not met, one of its leaders said, in a threat to the government’s majority in parliament.

“Our ministers and advisers have submitted their resignations to the party chief,” said Chaudhry Shahbaz Goshi, a vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid) led by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, in a phone interview. “The prime minister has failed to deliver on our demands, which include creation of new provinces and ending power blackouts. Now it’s up to our leadership to decide whether we should remain part of the government.”

Gilani needs the PML-Q’s backing to maintain his majority in the lower house of parliament. Another partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, left the coalition in June citing policy differences. The Pakistan Peoples’ Party of Gilani and President Asif Zardari has 125 lawmakers in the 342-member National Assembly, while Hussain’s PML-Q has 50 representatives.

Hussain’s party joined the ruling alliance in May, ending a rivalry with the Peoples’ party going back four decades. Zardari, the husband of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, had sought support as he struggled to revive growth in an economy battered by militant attacks and floods.

The Bhuttos lived in exile during two Pakistani military governments -- in the 1980s and from 1999 until 2008 -- that were backed by Hussain’s family.

--Editors: Mark Williams, Abhay Singh

To contact the reporter on this story: Haris Anwar in Islamabad at hanwar2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net


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