The two main opposition parties in Pakistan are joining forces to form a new government after their electoral victory over the party allied with President Pervez Musharraf.


Muslim League-N party chief Nawaz Sharif, right, and the Pakistan Peoples Party's co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, announced the coalition Thursday in Islamabad. ((Anjum Naveed/Associated Press))

The Pakistan Peoples Party, the party of assassinated former leader Benazir Bhutto, and the Pakistan Muslim League-N announced their coalition Thursday in Islamabad.

"We have agreed on a common agenda. We will work together to form a government together in the centre and in the provinces," said Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N.

The Pakistan Peoples Party won about 33 per cent of the ballots in Monday's vote, with Sharif's party coming in second with 27 per cent.

The outgoing ruling party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, conceded defeat the next day, saying it would sit in the opposition benches. Musharraf, however, said he would not step down as president.

On Thursday, Sharif repeated his wish to see Musharraf leave, although he didn't say whether the new coalition government would try to force the issue.

Sharif said the two opposition parties have reached a tentative deal to restore the judges purged by Musharraf when he declared emergency rule late last year.

"In principle, there's no disagreement on restoration of the judiciary," he said. "We will work on the modalities in parliament."

With files from the Associated Press