Pakistan Election: Pakistan Sets Presidential Vote for Oct.
Pakistan, Sept. 20 —The president, Gen.
Pervez Musharraf, will try to win another five-year
term in an election on Oct. 6, the country’s election
commission announced Thursday.
election schedule comes at a time of immense political
and legal wrangling as General Musharraf,
64, faces several petitions in the Supreme Court. His
opponents are challenging his eligibility to run and his
dual role as civilian and military leader.
nine-member panel of judges started hearing the petitions
on Monday, and a decision is expected next Wednesday,
according to lawyers.
Musharraf, who took power in 1999, has told the
Supreme Court that he will step down as the army chief
if he is re-elected and will take the oath as a civilian
his plan to campaign for office while wearing a military
uniform has met with strong protests from opposition political
parties, which are threatening to resign en masse from
Parliament before the presidential vote, which in Pakistan
is carried out by the national and provincial assemblies.
have decided we will all resign from the national and
provincial assemblies as soon as the nomination papers
of General Musharraf will be accepted,”
Imran Khan, an opposition politician,
said, speaking for the All Parties Democratic Movement,
an alliance of opposition parties that does not include
the Pakistan Peoples’ Party of former Prime Minister
constitution in the world allows a general to contest
elections,” Mr. Khan added. He
claimed that the courts in Pakistan were still under government
pressure and vowed to go back to the Supreme Court if
the panel of judges turned down his petition.
to the election schedule announced Thursday, the election
commission will receive nominations from presidential
candidates on Sept. 27. A final list of the candidates
will be published on Oct. 1, said Qazi Muhammad Farooq,
the chief election commissioner.
joint session of the Senate and National Assembly will
then be held in the Parliament House on Oct. 6 to elect
fall election has become the focus of the deepest political
crisis the general has faced, as two exiled prime ministers,
Ms. Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif,
have mounted popular campaigns to return and restore civilian
Sharif returned briefly to Islamabad last week
but was deported within hours to Saudi Arabia. Ms. Bhutto
has announced that she will return on Oct. 18.
Thursday, opposition lawyers faced probing questions from
the panel of nine judges hearing the petitions against
General Musharraf. The panel observed
that Parliament itself had accepted General Musharraf’s
dual posts through constitutional amendments.
judge, Javed Iqbal, asked why the political parties had
not earlier challenged the constitutional amendments,
which were passed in December 2003.
the hearing, Shaukat A. Siddiqui, an opposition lawyer,
said, “What I anticipate is that, after giving certain
observations, they will not allow our petition.”
2007 The New York Times Company
more breaking news on the upcoming 2007 Pakistan
click HERE .
up for JumpTV's
Pakistani Super Pak for the latest news coverage
from top Pakistani news channels Aaj TV, Indus News, TV
One and more.
to JumpTV.com and watch Pakistani Super Pak today!