“Pakistan’s Parliament is expected to pass constitutional changes in coming weeks that would vastly curtail the powers of President Asif Ali Zardari, effectively sidelining the unpopular leader of the nation’s weak civilian government.
Zardari inherited far-reaching powers, including the ability to dissolve Parliament’s lower house and to appoint the army chief, that were put in place under military ruler Pervez Musharraf. The likely changes would shift those powers to the prime minister, though many analysts say true authority in Pakistan would remain with the influential security establishment.
Strengthening Pakistan’s civilian government is a priority of the Obama administration, which views Pakistan as vital to U.S. military success in Afghanistan. The changes, which have unusually broad-based support, could stabilize Pakistan’s volatile political landscape by appeasing some of Zardari’s many critics. "
2010-03-23 11:53:39 UTC