ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) # Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will relinquish his role as head of the armed forces by the end of next year, but he will maintain his presidency.
The move is part of a deal between the government and a hard-line opposition party, and it was announced Wednesday at a press conference.
The agreement, which needs the parliament’s approval, calls for Musharraf to step down from his military position by December 31, 2004. Musharraf, who came to power in a 1999 military coup, will seek a vote of confidence in parliament.
The Pakistani government and the Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal, a coalition of opposition, hard-line Islamic parties made the deal. The opposition has been upset with the amount of power Musharraf has wielded.
For months, they have disrupted parliament, harassing speakers and going on mass walkouts. Also, they have blocked most legislation.
The MMA members are angry about the power Musharraf had to get rid of the prime minister and disband parliament by decree. The agreement says he would have to consult with the prime minister before disbanding the government. Also, he would need the Supreme Court’s OK for the move.
Two previous ruling parties # the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League # do not support the agreement.