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Musharraf Wins Landslide, Media Despondent

From a deeply saddened Reuters:

Musharraf sweeps vote

By Kamran Haider

Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf swept most votes in a presidential election on Saturday but he has to wait for the Supreme Court to confirm the legality of his bid before being declared the winner.

His landslide in an election largely boycotted by the opposition was widely expected. Members of the two-chamber parliament and four provincial assemblies voted for president.

The ruling coalition’s majority ensured that Musharraf beat two rival candidates. But his fate will not be known until October 17 at the earliest when the Supreme Court is due to reconvene to consider whether he was eligible to run while still army chief.

In the two houses of parliament, Musharraf won 252 of 257 votes cast. His closest rival, Wajihuddin Ahmed, won two votes, while three votes were rejected, Chief Election Commissioner Qazi Muhammad Farooq told the National Assembly.

Musharraf had also won most votes cast in all four provincial assemblies, officials said, and ended up with a total of 384 electoral college votes out of 702, according to a Reuters tally…

Coinciding with the vote, lawyers behind a campaign against Musharraf led anti-government protests in the four provincial capitals — Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.

Police fired tear gas to disperse lawyers pelting rocks at the North West Frontier Province assembly in Peshawar, where protesters also threw a burning effigy of the president on top of an armored police vehicle.

The Supreme Court decided on Friday the vote could go ahead but no winner could be declared until it had ruled on Musharraf’s eligibility following a challenge by Ahmed, a retired judge who was nominated by anti-government lawyers.

Asked about the court ruling hanging over the president, Aziz said: “This vote shows the people want General Musharraf.”

There is speculation about how Musharraf might react if the court thwarts his re-election. As long as he is army chief, he could declare emergency rule or martial law — options Musharraf has said he would not take…

The candidate who gets the most votes wins and Musharraf’s task was made easier by protest resignations of more than 160 assembly members from an opposition alliance led by Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister Musharraf ousted in 1999 and later exiled…

What heartbreak for our watchdog media. And what liars they are:

His landslide in an election largely boycotted by the opposition was widely expected.

You would have never known that from the previous news reports. In fact, they indicated just the opposite.

Of course the media was believing its own fantasies, as usual. They are certain that Mr. Musharraf is almost as hated as President Bush.

Oddly enough, they might be right. Musharraf may well be “hated” just about as much. (Which is to say, not that much at all in reality.)

Still, these same media Solons are now pinning their hopes on the Supreme Court nullifying the vote.

Check out this Associated Press headline and lede:

Musharraf Is Said to Win in Pakistan; Court to Weigh Bid

October 6, 2007

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan’s Gen. Pervez Musharraf swept Saturday’s presidential election, according to unofficial results, but the Supreme Court could still disqualify the military leader in the vote boycotted by nearly all of Pakistan’s opposition…

[The AP has subsequently re-written their headline, but verification of it can be found here.]

Here is yet another similar example (from literally dozens of choices), courtesy of the Los Angeles Times:

Protesters sound off as Pakistani lawmakers give Gen. Pervez Musharraf five more years as president.

New term for Musharraf — almost

Lawmakers vote to give the president five more years, but the high court still has a say.

By Laura King
October 6, 2007

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Lawmakers on Saturday overwhelmingly endorsed a new five-year term as president for Gen. Pervez Musharraf, according to unofficial results, but the vote’s legitimacy has yet to be decided by the Supreme Court.

The lopsided but clouded ballot, held simultaneously by Pakistan’s national parliament and four provincial assemblies, was denounced as a sham by Musharraf’s opponents, while the government praised it as a show of orderly democracy.

The high court is to rule this month on whether Musharraf is eligible under the constitution to seek a new term while still serving as head of Pakistan’s powerful military — a role he has promised to relinquish only once his victory is sealed. Opponents still hope to see the 64-year-old leader retroactively disqualified.

That left Musharraf and his allies celebrating an uneasy triumph. “It’s the day of the general — apparently,” said an anchor on the Dawn television news channel.

Despite tight security that included phalanxes of riot police and barbed-wire barricades, anti-Musharraf protesters managed to stage small demonstrations near the assembly buildings where the votes took place…

It all sounds strangely familiar, doesn’t it?

Our watchdog media simply loathes representative government when it doesn’t go their way.

They would rather be ruled by black robed mullahs (or tinhorn dictators) any day of the week.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, October 6th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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