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Friday, November 02, 2007

Pakistan Supreme Court to rule on Musharraf presidential bid within days
Katerina Ossenova at 2:07 PM ET

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] judge presiding over the case challenging the legality of President Pervez Musharraf's re-election bid said Friday that the court will move ahead with hearings and will likely issue a verdict by November 6. Although Judge Javed Iqbal has previously said that hearings would be delayed [JURIST report] until November 12, he said Friday that the court will continue with the case next week because of the climate of political uncertainty. There have also been rumors that Musharraf will declare martial law [JURIST report] if election results are invalidated; the government has denied such allegations. Aitzaz Ahsan, president of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association, filed an application with the Court Friday, asking it to issue an order barring Musharraf from taking any unconstitutional steps.

Musharraf won an overwhelming victory [JURIST report] last month in legislative elections for the presidency, according to unofficial results. The Supreme Court ruled before the election that the controversial ballot could proceed even though Musharraf continued to serve as army chief, but it barred the Election Commission of Pakistan [official website] from officially declaring a winner until the high court rules on whether Musharraf was in fact eligible to run under the circumstances. Musharraf's opposition has challenged the landslide victory on the grounds that he should have first stood down as head of the army. The Guardian has more. PTI has additional coverage.

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