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Pakistan and New Zealand Must Hold Free Elections

PRESS RELEASE

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Free Speech

Pakistan and New Zealand Must Hold Free and Fair Elections

Libertarianz Party leader Bernard Darnton today applauded the government's welcoming of Pakistan's suspension from the Commonwealth.

"General Musharraf's disregard for democracy and the rule of law is flagrant. He is not fit to rule his country. Libertarianz welcomes Pakistan's suspension from the Commonwealth and support the New Zealand government's positive comments about the desirability of democracy and the rule of law in Pakistan. I hope that that will translate into respect for democracy and the rule of law here in New Zealand."

"The New Zealand government's record in this area isn't good," continues Darnton. "In 2005 they flouted election laws by stealing public money to buy propaganda. In 2006, they abandoned all constitutional norms and retrospectively changed the law so that they wouldn't be called into the High Court to answer for that action. This year the government has passed legislation allowing them to steal far more at the next election. Worst of all, the Clark regime is now trying to ram through legislation that would ban me from pointing out that they are behaving like tyrants and telling people not to vote for them."

Darnton called for New Zealand to hold free and fair elections as scheduled next year, to remove the requirement to register with the state before speaking, and to lift the proposed restrictions on free political expression.

Prime Minister Helen Clark is currently in Uganda, picking up tips from other leaders of third-word pseudo-democracies.

ENDS

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