Voting has taken place in presidential polls in Pakistan that military ruler Pervez Musharraf is almost certain to win. And early results in so far seem to confirm that. What is not certain, however, is whether Supreme Court judges will agree that he is eligible and entitled to be declared the winner.
They are still deciding whether someone can be a candidate and an army chief at the same time. A ballot was held in parliament and four regional assemblies. Outside the venues, demonstrations took place against the elections. For many it is not enough that Musharraf has promised to leave the army if elected.
One protestor said: “It is in the interest of the country that the army is kept out of politics in Pakistan. Pervez Musharraf is repeatedly violating his oath and there is no constitutional, legal or moral justification for him to cling to the office of the presidency throughout the life.”
Lawyers are also reported to have taken part in some of today’s demonstrations. There is anger the election is going ahead despite the fact that more than 160 politicians resigned in protest over Musharraf’s candidacy. Added to all of this is news of Musharraf’s attempts for a possible power-sharing deal with the exiled opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. She is expected to return to Pakistan and fight general elections in January.