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Sharif says no to presidential post

The PML-N chief also says his party could become part of Pakistan's new government only if President Musharraf steps down.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2008 14:48 IST

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has ruled himself out as a candidate for the post of president and said his party could become part of Pakistan's new government only if President Pervez Musharraf steps down.

Reacting to reports that he could be made president as part of efforts by the PML-N and Pakistan Peoples Party to form the new government after the February 18 polls, Sharif said he was not a candidate for the post.

The PML-N had assured the PPP of its complete support in forming government at the centre, the former premier said. "We have assured (PPP co-chairman) Asif Ali Zardari of our full cooperation whether the PML-N becomes part of the government or not," Sharif told ARY Oneworld news channel.

"We will only become part of government when Musharraf quits the office of president," he said.

The PML-N and PPP, which swept the polls, have agreed to form government with the backing of the Awami National Party, which draws its support from the Pashtuns of northwestern Pakistan, and independent candidates.

The three parties held a show of strength on Wednesday and Sharif repeated his call for Musharraf to accept the people's verdict and step down.

The PML-N's top leadership announced earlier this week that the party will not seek berths in the federal cabinet as their members did not want to be administered oath of office by Musharraf, whose ouster has been listed as a priority by Sharif.