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International | Government & Elections

Pakistan awaits key court decision
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Wednesday Sep 26th, 2007 7:13 AM
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 : Lawyer says president to remain army chief if not re-elected but rules out martial law.
Lawyers have summed up arguments as Pakistan's supreme court prepares to issue its ruling on challenges to General Pervez Musharraf's bid for another term in the forthcoming presidential election. The court in Islamabad is expected to reach a decision on Thursday or Friday on the petitions.

Musharraf and at least two other candidates are due to file election nomination papers on Thursday.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q party confirmed on Tuesday that Musharraf signed the nomination papers for his candidacy, with 17 legislators, including Shaukat Aziz, the prime minister, endorsing him. "We have the required votes to ensure his success," Mushahid Hussain, the party's secretary-general, said. The same day, opposition fears that Musharraf could declare a state of emergency if he did not retain the presidential office, were fuelled afresh by a government lawyer's remarks. Malik Mohammed Qayyum, the attorney-general, told a supreme court bench that Musharraf would remain the chief of the army if he was not re-elected.

No martial law

Qayyum denied that any moves towards authoritarianism were being considered. "There will be no martial law. There will be no emergency," he said.

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