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Bhutto's party meets to nominate next prime minister of Pakistan

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Emilio Morenatti/AP

(Read caption) Pakistani police officers stand in front of a poster of assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Ms. Bhutto's party, the Pakistan People's Party, failed to agree on a candidate for prime minister on Thursday, largely due to discord over Makhdoom Amin Fahim, a stalwart Bhutto aide.

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After winning landmark parliamentary elections on Feb. 18, Pakistan People's Party met to select its nomination for the next prime minister. The PPP has vowed to form a coalition government with other opposition parties, shutting out loyalists of President Pervez Musharraf, who could face impeachment by a hostile parliament that is due to convene later this month.

On Thursday, the party failed to agree on a candidate, largely due to discord over front-runner candidate Makhdoom Amin Fahim, a stalwart Bhutto aide, reports the Agence France-Presse. He is one of four candidates whom the party is expected to nominate, reports the Associated Press.

The Bush administration is anxious to ensure that the tensions between pro-US Musharraf and his opponents don't blunt Pakistan's resolve to combat militant violence, particularly in its tribal belt along the troubled border with Afghanistan. After a lull, Pakistan has been roiled by a recent upsurge in suicide attacks. A power blackout in Karachi has also drawn attention to economic challenges facing the next government.

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