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


UN: COVID Contributed To 69,000 Malaria Deaths WHO Finds, Though ‘Doomsday Scenario’ Averted
Disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in considerable increases in malaria cases and deaths between 2019 and 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday... More>>

Save The Children: World Leaders Urged To Halt Escalating Hunger Crisis

A group of 120 non-governmental organisations has joined forces in an open letter calling on world leaders to do more to halt a devastating global hunger crisis as new analysis shows the number of people likely to be in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 could rise by 17%...More>>

WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

Cook Islands: First COVID Case "historical"

The 10 year old child who provided two ‘weak positive’ covid test results after arriving in Rarotonga last Thursday, has returned a negative result in his latest test. That means he’s not infectious and this is an historical case... More>>

Oxfam: Failure To Vaccinate The World Created Perfect Breeding Ground For Omicron, Say Campaigners

Campaigners from the People’s Vaccine Alliance say the refusal of pharmaceutical companies to openly share their vaccine science and technology and the lack of action from rich countries to ensure access to vaccines globally have created the perfect breeding ground for new variants such as Omicron... More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>