Saturday, 6 October 2007

Musharraf 'wins' one-man election

Gen. Pervez Musharraf has apparantly won Pakistan's presidential election, although, as usual in a controversial way. Even if this wasn't a one-man race, I doubt the election would be fair, considering the precedent as well as Musharraf's lack of respect for the democratic process.


President Pervez Musharraf easily won the presidential election today, but an opposition boycott and pending hearings in the Supreme Court, which still has to decide on his eligibility to stand for election in uniform, left him with an incomplete victory.

The vote, by national and provincial assemblies, ended up as a one-man race after other candidates withdrew. All opposition parties refused to take part and only legislators from the ruling coalition, plus a few independents voted.
General Musharraf had been widely expected to win the vote because the government coalition holds a majority in all but one provincial assembly.

Pakistan's president has been facing many troubles lately, not least the failed attempt at power sharing with ex-PM Bhutto or the rise of extremism since his authoritarianism has pushed out the moderates. Engineering an election doesn't seem to be one of Musharraf's problems. He has defied the courts, ran in uniform, and always makes sure the vote goes his way (in this case, a boycott by the opposition led to the lack of, well, opposition). I wonder what the Supreme Court will say on this issue. More importantly, will Musharraf follow their decision, and what consequences lie ahead for Pakistan's people? Will 'war on terror' ally America recognize this election for the undemocratic sham it is, or will it turn (another) blind eye?

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