Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's government announced Wednesday that it is withdrawing President Asif Ali Zardari's appointment of two judges after the country's Supreme Court ruled that the president did not consult with it, as the nation's constitution requires.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Wednesday that the government will instead appoint three judges recommended by Pakistani Chief Justice Muhammad Iftikhar Chaudhry to the country's Supreme Court.
Gilani's announcement came after a Wednesday afternoon meeting with Chaudhry.
"We have had this meeting as per the constitutional requirement of a consensus for the appointment of judges," Gillani said at a news conference that followed his meeting with the chief justice.
The move apparently avoids a face-off with the judiciary, which on Saturday rejected Zardari's appointment of the two judges.
The court ruled Zardari did not consult with it, as directed by the constitution, on the judicial appointments -- one to the Supreme Court and another to the Lahore High Court. Zardari spokesman Farhatullah Baber disputed the ruling, saying the president followed the law and did consult with the Supreme Court.
Asked about the consultation, Baber said, "It is always a matter of interpretation. There is always more than one way to interpret. There is a body of lawyers that think consultation did take place. Another body of lawyers say the consultation was not adequate. The president, of course, believes it was within the constitutional parameters."
The president's order, however, prompted the protest of thousands of lawyers on Monday in cities throughout Pakistan.
Tensions persist between Zardari and the Supreme Court. Zardari had promised to reinstate Chaudhry -- who was suspended by former President Pervez Musharraf -- when his party won parliamentary elections in February 2008. But Chaudhry was not reinstated until March of last year, after Zardari buckled under pressure from the Lawyers' Movement.
Last year, a National Reconciliation Ordinance that protected thousands of bureaucrats and politicians, including Zardari, from corruption charges was nullified by the Supreme Court, which said the amnesty "seems to be against the national interest."
There were calls for Zardari to step down following the court's decision. However, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said in December that the president cannot be pressured to resign until he is convicted of a crime, and dismissed the allegations as politically motivated.
Although Zardari spent 11 years in prison amid corruption allegations, he was never convicted. Analysts have said Zardari delayed reinstating Chaudhry out of fears the judge would revisit the old corruption allegations.