Pakistan's Bhutto says expects her party to resign

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LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters)- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said today she expected that her party would decide to instruct its members of parliament to resign ahead of presidential elections set for October 6.

''Most probably'', she said when asked if that would be the decision. ''I think that the resignation of the Pakistan Peoples Party MPs will be a severe blow to the legitimacy of the presidential elections,'' she told reporters in London.

Parliament and provincial assemblies are expected on Saturday to re-elect President Pervez Musharraf.

More than 80 opposition members of parliament have already resigned in protest against his standing for re-election while army chief.

The PPP is not in a position to stop his re-election but could damage the credibility of the process if it boycotted the vote.

''We don't want to resign. We don't want to take this step, but certainly we are being pushed into taking this step by the inability of the present regime to move towards the democratisation of Pakistan,'' Bhutto said.

Bhutto, who plans to return to Pakistan on October 18 after eight years of self-exile, accused the military leader of failing to deliver on promises of a return to democracy.

REUTERS AM VC2008

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