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Zardari not to become Pakistani PM
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Co-Chairman of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari Wednesday said he would not become Prime Minister of Pakistan, local TV channel DAWN NEWS reported.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Zardari said that the PPP held a central executive committee meeting on Wednesday and the meeting decided he would not be the prime ministerial candidate.

Asif Ali Zardari, widower of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, casts his ballot inside a polling station in Nawabshah, 320 km (200 miles) from Karachi, February 18, 2008.  (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

Zardari also demanded the release of judges and lawyers who were deposed after President Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency on November 3 last year.

Zardari disclosed that the PPP would want to form a coalition government with the Mutahida Qaumi Movement.

The general elections of Pakistan were held on February 18. Initial results showed that PPP had won the largest number of National Assembly seats, which made it entitled to form the next government.

The PPP has ruled out the possibility of cooperation with the former ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, saying they are in contact with other parties mainly Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, on the formation of government.

Zardari said the media played an important role in the country and should be given more freedom.

Zardari and Bhutto's 19-year-old son Bilawal was named the Chairman of PPP following the assassination of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi on December 27. Bilawal is currently studying at Oxford while his father, as PPP Co-Chairman, is looking after the party affairs till he completes his education.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2008)

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