Judge takes Pakistan step closer to historic polls
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan's top court on Wednesday threw out a petition from a populist cleric seeking to dissolve the election commission, bringing the country a step closer to holding historic polls.
Although no date has been announced, the nuclear-armed country of 180 million is due go to the polls by mid-May - marking the first time a democratically elected government would have seen out a full term in the country's history.
The government and the opposition are publicly united that elections must be held on time, but politicians have fanned fears about a delay by claiming conspiracies are being hatched to postpone the polls.
Critics warned that there was a further risk to holding elections on time if the Supreme Court had accepted the petition from cleric Tahir-ul Qadri, who has unsettled politics by whipping up support for sweeping, pre-electoral reforms.