Zardari ready to resign and call early elections: Report

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Asif Ali Zardari
Islamabad, Jan 11: Pakistan's beleaguered President Asif Ali Zardari is ready to resign and call an early general elections if parties in the ruling coalition wanted him to take such a step, according to a media report today.

Zardari made the announcement while chairing a meeting of the top leadership of the ruling Pakistan People's Party and its coalition partners last night after the Supreme Court warned that action could be taken against him and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for failing to reopen high-profile graft cases, The News daily quoted its sources as saying.

The President, who is also co-chairman of the PPP, told his allies "that he was elected as the President with their help, and if they wanted, he was ready to resign and even to hold new elections", the report said.

There was no mention of Zardari's offer to quit in a statement issued by the presidency after last night’s meeting. The statement said the leaders of the ruling coalition had decided to call an urgent session of parliament tomorrow to discuss the apex court’s warning.

The President cut short a visit to Karachi and rushed back to Islamabad yesterday for a series of meetings that assessed the fallout of the apex court’s order in a case related to the National Reconciliation Ordinance, a graft amnesty that had benefited Zardari and over 8,000 others. Since the apex court struck down the NRO in December 2009, it has been pressuring the government to reopen cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in Switzerland.

The government has refused to do so, saying the President enjoys immunity from prosecution under the Constitution.

PTI

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