World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Pakistan Dismisses Challenges To Pres. Re-Election

By Barry Newhouse

Musharraf-Appointed Court Dismisses Main Challenges to Presidential Re-Election

Pakistan's Supreme Court has dismissed the main legal challenges to General Pervez Musharraf's presidential re-election on October 6. The court struck down the challenges after one of the petitioners argued that judges appointed by President Musharraf did not have the authority to decide legal challenges against him.

Pakistani Attorney General Malik Qayyum told television interviewers Monday the decision was based on a legal technicality.

He says the petitioners' lawyers explained that they did not have instructions from their clients on how to proceed with the case and so the cases were dismissed.

One of the main petitioners in the case, Wajihuddin Ahmed, says this is not true.

"My lawyer informed them that he did not recognize them as the Supreme Court. There is no Supreme Court now and therefore our case cannot be proceeded with. It is wrong."

General Musharraf replaced the Supreme Court judges with a new panel of justices after he announced emergency law earlier this month.

Pakistani journalists who were in the courtroom reported that when Ahmed's lawyer told the judges that his client did not recognize their authority, they threatened him with contempt of court.

The journalists said the lawyer was then given a choice of proceeding with the case and facing contempt charges or informing the court that he could not proceed because he did not have proper instructions from his client.

The other claimants faced similar procedural choices and dropped their challenges.

Journalists said the judges forbid them from reporting that the claimants argued that they did not recognize the court's authority.

Wajihuddin Ahmed is a former Supreme Court judge who resigned after General Musharraf seized power in 1999. He said because the new judges have sworn an oath to uphold General Musharraf's provisional constitutional ordinance, or PCO, he was not surprised at the outcome.

"With the kind of judges we have there, the PCO judges, whom the legal fraternity does not recognize, whom the civil society does not recognize - this result was expected. It couldn't be otherwise," he said.

When he declared emergency rule earlier this month, President Musharraf had complained the former Supreme Court had been taking too long to rule on the challenges to his re-election, undermining the government. Many Pakistanis believe General Musharraf declared emergency rule and suspended the constitution because he thought the justices would rule against him.

Monday's decision appears to end the main legal challenges to his re-election, although at least one more is to be decided later this week. The president has said that after the high court rules on the challenges, clearing the way for the election commission to validate the vote, he will step down as army chief and take the presidential oath.


More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news