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Sharif, Bhutto Register For Pakistan Poll

From a chagrined Reuters:


An election officer hands over the receipt to lawyer of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, third from left, after receiving Sharif’s nomination papers at the District Court in Lahore, Pakistan on Monday, Nov. 26, 2007.

Sharif, Bhutto register for Pakistani vote

By Kamran Haider

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) – Former Pakistani prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif signed up on Monday to run in a January election while a spokesman for President Pervez Musharraf said he would be sworn in as a civilian on Thursday.

Both Sharif and Bhutto said they might yet boycott the January 8 general election, which is being organized under emergency rule that U.S. ally Musharraf imposed on November 3, largely to derail legal challenges to his bid to secure another term…

Two-time prime minister Sharif said he would not be a candidate for prime minister under Musharraf, who had to reinstate the judges he purged after declaring the emergency. Sharif also said he retained the option of boycotting the elections.

“We don’t want to boycott elections, but if you push somebody to the wall, then what are the options left?” Sharif said at a news conference in Lahore.

“The boycott remains a very potent option for the opposition,” said Sharif, who was deported when he tried to come back in September.

But the political atmosphere has changed radically since then with Musharraf’s imposition of an emergency and the apparent breakdown of efforts to forge cooperation between him and Bhutto.

Musharraf, having secured a second five-year term, thanks to a new panel of friendly judges who validated his October 6 election victory, will quit as army chief and take the oath as a civilian president on Thursday, his spokesman said.

Bhutto, who came home from eight years in self-imposed exile last month, filed her election papers in her family’s hometown of Larkana in the southern province of Sindh…

Bhutto said her party would be taking part in the elections under protest.

“We felt that if we don’t do that, then it will leave the field open for the regime and they will not need to rig the elections,” Bhutto told Reuters by telephone from Larkana after filing her nomination papers…

Good news. (And such a disappointment for our media.)

But of course they will milk pulling out is much as possible until the elections.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 26th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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