Bhutto announces power-sharing accord

June 18, 2007 at 1:07 PM
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LONDON, June 18 (UPI) -- Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says she has reached a power-sharing arrangement aimed at returning Pakistan to civilian control.

In an interview with the Financial Times in London, Bhutto said she and deposed Premier Nawaz Sharif verbally agreed that she will have the first chance to run the country for five years if elected, The Press Trust of India reported Monday.

After that, Bhutto said Sharif, who heads the Pakistan Muslim League-N party, can seek the office if he chooses.

"That's a verbal discussion between us but that is what he has said to me," said Bhutto

The secretary-general of Sharif's party has denied any such agreement was reached.

"The people will decide in fair elections who forms the government," said Sharif's top political aide, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra

A general election in Pakistan is expected later this year or early next year, nearly eight years after President Gen. Pervez Musharraf took power in a bloodless military coup.

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