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Poll panel bends before Musharraf

world Updated: Sep 17, 2007 02:42 IST
Kamal Siddiqi
Kamal Siddiqi
Hindustan Times
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The Election Commission of Pakistan has amended the relevant rules which would have stood in the way of President Pervez Musharraf seeking re-election while he continues to remain in uniform.

Media reports said on Sunday, quoting Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afghan Niazi, that the Presidential Election Rules 1988 had been amended, following which Article 63 of the Pakistani Constitution no longer applied to the president.

Article 63 lists the conditions under which a person can be disqualified from becoming a member of parliament. It has clauses which prevent government servants from participating in elections unless they have been retired for at least two years. It also debars anyone who holds an office of profit in the service of the country from seeking electoral office as well. As chief of army staff, General Musharraf is technically a government servant. “Now these clauses will not apply to the President,” Niazi said.

The Election Commission’s Secretary Kunwar Irshad said a notification has been issued whose the text will be released on Monday. The Chief Election Commissioner may announce the schedule of presidential election on Tuesday. The election is likely to be in the first week of October.