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Paki Opposition Threaten To Boycott Election

From an ever hopeful New York Times:


Pakistani Opposition Threatens to Boycott Election

By JANE PERLEZ and DAVID ROHDE
Published: November 13, 2007

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Nov. 12 — Two of Pakistan’s bigger opposition parties said today they would probably boycott the parliamentary elections due to be held in early January if the president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, was still maintaining emergency rule.

However, the leader of the biggest opposition party, Benazir Bhutto, has not yet said whether she would pull her party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, out of the election.

On Sunday, Ms. Bhutto said General Musharraf’s announcement that elections would go ahead in January was a positive though insufficient step. Today she assumed a slightly tougher tone, suggesting that her negotiations with General Musharraf had come to an end.

“We cannot work with anyone who has suspended the Constitution, imposed emergency rule and oppressed the judiciary,” she said in Lahore. “We are saying no to any more talks.”

Ms. Bhutto said she would go ahead with a protest march beginning on Tuesday over 160 miles from the eastern city of Lahore to Islamabad, the capital. However, a government spokesman said today that the authorities would not allow the march to take place because it violated the current ban on political rallies.

“All processions, rallies, political gatherings at present are outlawed,” the spokesman, Tariq Azim, told The Associated Press. “So if she breaks the law then obviously she will not be allowed to do it,” he said.

Raza Zafarul Haz, the chairman of one of the country’s biggest parties, the Pakistan Muslim League of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said that for free and fair elections to go ahead, emergency rule would have to be lifted and that judges who were fired after the imposition of emergency rule must be reinstated.

“Under the current circumstances, it is very difficult to expect there will be fair elections in the country,” Mr. Haz said. His party will make its final decision in the coming week, he said.

Liaqat Baloch, the secretary general of Pakistan’s most popular Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, said the party was considering withholding its candidates if the emergency was still in place in January…

Gee, what a shock. We’ve never seen this before, have we? 

First the demonstrations demanding elections. Then, once elections are scheduled, the opposition boycotts them anyway.

It’s almost as if they really don’t want a legitimate representative government.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 12th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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