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Pakistan go to polls May



Islamabad: Pakistan will hold general elections in May, state media quoted a cabinet minister as saying, although a spokesman for the presidency said a date had yet to be finalised. Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told reporters in the eastern city of Lahore that the next election would be held in May 2013, state news agency reported.

It would mark the first time that a democratically elected civilian government in Pakistan completes a full term in office and hands over to a new, elected administration. quoted Kaira as saying "nothing can postpone the schedule of the next general election but some natural catastrophe".

Officials have long insisted the government will step down on March 18, 2013 and hand over to a caretaker government ahead of elections. "No date has yet been finalised for the election. March 17 will be the last day of this government," presidency spokesman Farhatullah Babar told.

After that the government would hand over to a caretaker administration to hold elections within 60 days, Babar said, with the precise date yet to be discussed within the Pakistan People's Party and its coalition partners.

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