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Pakistan searches for new leader after Musharraf resignation

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Pakistan searches for new leader after Musharraf resignation


Spontaneous celebrations broke out in numerous Pakistani cities as President Pervez Musharraf announced his resignation.

Now the country’s coalition government must set about finding a replacement as well as dealing with pressing economic and security problems.

Musharraf, who took charge in a bloodless coup nearly nine years ago, quit to avoid impeachment on charges of gross misconduct and violating the constitution.

One main coalition party – that of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the man ousted by Musharraf in 1999 – insisted he face charges of treason.

Government officials say Musharraf sought immunity from prosecution. But in a nationwide TV address Musharraf said he asked for nothing: “I leave my future in the hands of the nation and the people.”

The army, which has ruled for more than half the country’s 61-year history, has kept out of the controversy.

A new president is due to be elected within 30 days.

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