Pakistan’s minority government appears to have gotten a brief stay of execution tonight, as Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani announced that his government has reached a deal with the pro-Musharraf Pakistani Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) for their support in the event of a vote of no-confidence.
The PML-Q, which held the prime ministership throughout Musharraf’s junta, says they intend to stay in the opposition for the time being, but their support for the government in no-confidence votes would be enough to prevent the opposition from forcing new elections.
According to Musharraf, who is still in exile but insists he intends to return to Pakistan soon, his bloc is ready to contest elections but “a little more time would be useful.” Most experts believe the PML-N, a decidedly anti-Musharraf bloc, would win if the elections were held today.
The coalition government initially included virtually every political faction except the PML-Q, but infighting and complaints about corruption in the Zardari government have cost them all but a handful of partners, and it is now essentially the Pakistani Peoples Party (PPP) ruling all alone, with the PML-Q keeping them in office for convenience sake.
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