ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan's law minister says three Supreme Court judges ousted by ex-president Pervez Musharraf have returned to the bench, but not the deposed chief justice.

The move cements deep political divisions in Pakistan a day before lawmakers elect Musharraf's successor.

Law Minister Farooq Naek said three judges purged during emergency rule last November were sworn back into the court on Friday.

Naek said deposed chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry could not return because the incumbent could not be legally removed.

The main opposition party quit the ruling coalition last month over the failure to restore Chaudhry.