Musharraf resignation accepted

Aug. 18, 2008 at 5:31 PM
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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, facing possible impeachment, announced his resignation Monday and lawmakers immediately accepted it.

The former army chief, who came to power in 1999 after deposing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a military coup, said in a televised address to the nation he was stepping down in the best interest of the country, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Musharraf, who had seen his popularity crumble following his party's disastrous election defeat earlier this year, had faced the possibility of impeachment, and multiple charges of misconduct and violations of the constitution. Until Monday he had indicated he would not step down but fight any effort to remove him from office.

There was no immediate word on what Musharraf planned to do in the future or whether he will stay in Pakistan after leaving office.

In his address, Musharraf accused the ruling coalition of making "false allegations" against him but said that the politics of confrontation must come to an end, the report said.

CNN said the National Assembly formally accepted Musharraf's resignation hours after the televised address.

The chairman of the assembly's upper house, Mohammedmian Soomro, will be acting president until a successor is chosen, CNN said. The president is elected by a majority vote of Pakistan's four provincial assemblies and the National Assembly.

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