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Bhutto, Sharif to discuss seat sharing

The former Pakistan PMs will meet on May 14 to discuss the possibility of seat adjustment for next year's elections.

india Updated: May 02, 2006 16:18 IST

Former Pakistan premiers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif are expected to meet in London on May 14 to discuss possibility of seat adjustment between the two parties for the next year's general elections.

The two leaders might even approve their so-called charter of democracy, PPP sources said.

Bhutto's spokesman Farhatullah Babar was quoted as saying in Daily Times that the meeting would formalise the positions of Benazir and Nawaz on democracy, people's rule, the Army's withdrawal from politics and the independence of institutions.

However, the bigger reason for the duo's meet is to shape the ARD into an electoral alliance.

"Shaping the alliance for the Restoration of Democracy into an electoral alliance or possibly agreeing in principle on seat adjustment during the elections could be the real issue apart from looking at possibilities of bringing more like-minded parties into the ARD," said a PPP bigwig.

The paper, however, quoted PPP Information Secretary Sherry Rehman as saying that although both leaders would discuss a broad range of political issues, talk on seat adjustment or an electoral alliance was "a bit too early".

"They will definitely touch the subject during the meeting, but since the PPP has not finalised its own candidates for the elections, the real nitty-gritty of seat adjustment will not be discussed at this stage.

However, the meeting will provide a good platform for the ARD summit meeting scheduled for July 2 in London," she added.

According to her, the final shape of the ARD as an electoral alliance will emerge in the July 2 meeting.