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Pak EC confirms Musharraf as president

world Updated: Nov 24, 2007 16:58 IST

Pakistan's election commission confirmed on Saturday that military ruler Pervez Musharraf won last month's presidential election, giving him another five years in office.

Officials said it sent notification of the result to the government, which must still formally declare Musharraf as the incoming president.

"We have informed the government of the results of the October 6 presidential election and the winning candidate is General Pervez Musharraf," an election commission official said.

He said it was up to the government's cabinet office to formally give notice of Musharraf's victory. Once the announcement is made it clears him to swear a new oath of office, which he has pledged to do as a civilian after resigning as army chief.

Becoming a civilian leader would meet a major demand of the international community, which has been outraged at his state of emergency.

Although Musharraf won those October 6 elections, the Supreme Court put a block on officially declaring the result before it had a chance to rule on legal challenges to his candidacy.

Musharraf however imposed emergency rule days before the court was due to rule, raising suspicion he feared it was going to go against him.

He then sacked Pakistan's chief justice and most of the Supreme Court's 16 other judges for refusing to swear a new oath of office.

Earlier this week the purged court -- now stacked with loyalist judges -- dismissed all the challenges and cleared the way for the election commission formally to notify the government of his victory.

Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, now has until December 1 to quit the army and swear himself in as a civilian.

His spokesman Rashid Qureshi said he could not give a date when that would happen but promised it would not be long.

"Once the notification is issued there will be no delay on the president's side," he told AFP.