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National Elections Planned In Pakistan In May 2013

Pakistani Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira says the country plans to hold landmark national elections in May.

Kaira told journalists in the eastern city of Lahore that "nothing can postpone the schedule of the next general election [except] some natural catastrophe."

However, presidency spokesman Farhatullah Babar told the French AFP news agency that the precise date has yet to be discussed within the governing Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and its coalition partners.

The government is to step down in March and hand over to an interim administration to hold elections.

The vote would mark the first time a democratically elected civilian government completes a full five-year term in Pakistan and hands over to a new, elected administration.

Previous governments have either been deposed in army coups or dismissed by presidents.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP