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Preparing ground for re-election

Musharraf says he will seek re-election from the current national assembly while in uniform and that any talks on the uniform issue “would be held after the elections,” reports Kamal Siddiqi.

world Updated: Aug 08, 2007 04:28 IST
Kamal Siddiqi

Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said that he would seek re-election from the current national assembly while in uniform and that any talks on the uniform issue “would be held after the elections.”

Musharraf told members of the ruling PML in Karachi on Monday that he would stand for election while in uniform and that there is a provision in the constitution that assemblies cannot be dissolved if the presidential election is due.

Local media reports quoted PML party members as saying that the president had indicated that he would be looking at September 15 as a possible date for re-election.

The President was in Karachi over the weekend to shore up support with his ally party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which is part of the ruling coalition. The MQM has once again given its endorsement to the President in exchange for valuable concessions.

Present indications suggest that Musharraf would seek re-election from the sitting parliament between September 15 and October 15 after which an interim Prime Minister would take office by November 2007. Following this, general elections are to be held within 90 days.

However, the proposed deal with the Pakistan Peoples Party of Benazir Bhutto has created problems for Musharraf’s coalition allies. If Musharraf goes ahead with the Bhutto deal, then it would be possible that his relations with present coalition partners, including the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and MQM will sour.