Opposition members quit NWFP assembly in Pakistan

By Xinhua

Islamabad : As many as 35 opposition legislators in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) assembly tendered their resignations to the speaker Friday to protest President Pervez Musharraf’s bid for re-election, News Network International (NNI) news agency reported.

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Up to 23 members of Jamaat-e-Islami, a coalition partner of the six-party alliance Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), have resigned in Peshawar, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Siraj-ul-Haq was quoted by NNI as saying.

Aside from Jamaat-e-Islami, 12 members of two other opposition groups in NWFP also tendered their resignations.

The MMA, which is the ruling party in NWFP, warned that it would dissolve the provincial assembly to oppose Musharraf’s re-election bid.

However, some parties in the province, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, moved a no-confidence motion against the chief minister of NWFP to prevent the dissolution of the assembly.

A major alliance group of the MMA, namely Jamiat ulema-e-Islam (JUI), has not yet decided to quit the assembly. It said it would face the motion instead of resigning from the assembly.

A total of 163 legislators from the opposition alliance, the All Parties Democratic Movement, Tuesday quit the national and provincial assemblies to protest Musharraf’s re-election.

Musharraf said in a TV interview Wednesday that resignations would not affect presidential elections due on Oct 6.

Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto said Thursday that her party members would not resign as she was optimistic about a power-sharing formula with Musharraf.