Pakistan to hold nationwide elections May 11

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan will hold nationwide parliamentary elections on May 11, said a presidential spokesman today. The vote is expected to produce the country’s first transition from one civilian government to another.

The Pakistani parliament completed its term Saturday.

The ruling Pakistan People’s Party has been dogged by rumors that it would be deposed or forced to call early elections ever since it assumed office in March 2008. Its five-year term in office has been marked by near-constant political crises and a rocky relationship with the country’s powerful military.

But President Asif Ali Zardari has shown a remarkable ability to hold together a warring coalition government whose members threaten to quit every few months or so.

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