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Zardari Gets Boost In Pakistani Senate Elections

A cyclist passed an election billboard outside the Punjab provincial assembly in Lahore, Pakistan, on March 2.
Pakistan's ruling party has strengthened its position in senate elections, preliminary results show, in a boost for President Asif Ali Zardari's crisis-hit civilian government.

Voting was held on March 2 for 45 seats out of 104 in the indirectly elected upper house of the federal parliament.

Unofficial results suggest that the ruling PPP party won at least 15 seats, increasing its majority in the senate.

The news is a welcome boost for Zardari, whose government has been plunged into crisis by a string of high-profile scandals, including a leaked memo in which he reportedly sought U.S. help to prevent a feared military coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden by American forces last year.

Final official results for the senate election are due to be released next week.

With AP and AFP reporting