Government of Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan is a federal parliamentary system, with an indirectly-elected President as the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Pakistani Armed Forces, and an indirectly-elected Prime Minister as the Head of Government. The President’s appointment and term are constitutionally independent of the Prime Minister’s term. On September 6, 2008, the Electoral College (composed of the Senate, the National Assembly, and the four Provincial Assemblies) chose Asif Ali Zardari as the eleventh President of Pakistan for a five-year term. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly and is assisted by a cabinet of ministers drawn from both chambers of the federal legislature. The current Prime Minister is Yousaf Raza Gillani of the Pakistan Peoples Party, who took office on March 25, 2008.
The National Assembly elections that were held in October 2002 had 91 women elected to its Parliament – the largest number and percentage of women in the parliament of any Muslim-majority country.On November 3, 2007, President Musharraf suspended Pakistan’s constitution by declaring a state of emergency.
In the general elections held in February 2008, the party of slain leader Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) won 123 seats in the National Assembly while the Pakistan Muslim League (N) of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif won 91 seats in the National Assembly. President Musharaf’s ally party Pakistan Muslim League (Q) (PML-Q) came third with 54 seats. After the elections the People’s Party Parliamentarian and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz announced a coalition to form the new government along with the Awami National Party (ANP). Pakistan’s new parliament elected the country’s first female speaker March 19, 2008 from the Pakistan Peoples Party: Fahmida Mirza. Allies of President Pervez Musharraf withdrew their candidate for Pakistan’s prime minister, Farooq Sattar, and the coalition chose Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who was sworn in March 25, 2008 by President Pervez Musharraf.
On August 7, 2008, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (N) agreed to force Musharraf to step down and begin his impeachment. Asif Ali Zardari, Rehman Malik, Altaf Hussain and Nawaz Sharif announced sending a formal request or joint charge sheet that he steps down, and impeach him through parliamentary process upon refusal. Musharaf, however, said: “I will defeat those who try to push me to the wall. If they use their right to oust me, I have the right to defend myself.”Musharraf accordingly delayed his departure for the Beijing Olympics by a day. A senior coalition official told Reuters: “Yes, we have agreed in principle to impeach him.” The draft of the ruling coalition’s joint statement had been finalized by the draft Committee, and Musharraf must obtain vote of confidence from the National Assembly and 4 provincial assemblies. The government summoned the national assembly, or lower house of parliament, to sit on August 11. Capt. Wasif Syed, spokesman for the Pakistan People’s Party — confirmed: “A decision has been made that he has to go now, and all the parties have agreed on this point.”