Article published on the 2008-08-25 Latest update 2008-08-26 12:55 TU
Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif (R) at his party meeting in Islamabad August 25, 2008.
The leader of one of Pakistan's main governing parties, the National Muslim League-N, withdrew from the government on Monday.
Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the NML-N cited differences over the reinstatement of judges sacked by former president Pervez Musharraf and over who should replace him.
Sharif, head of the second-largest party in the coalition, had laid down a Monday deadline for restoration of the judges. The deadline not being met, Sharif says he and his elected members of the parliament are joining the opposition, and as such, will continue to struggle for the restoration of judges and democracy.
Sharif also announced that the NML-N will field its own presidential candidate against the PPP's leader Asif Ali Zardari. The NML-candidate is retired supreme court chief justice Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui.
The nominations for a new president to replace Musharraf - who stepped down to avoid impeachment last week - open on Tuesday 26 August. The two houses of parliament and the four provincial assemblies will elect their new leader on 6 September. The next president of Pakistan is expected to have a more ceremonial, and less hands-on role than Musharraf.