'Musharraf may resign as Prez, get re-elected' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Musharraf may resign as Prez, get re-elected'

Pervez Musharraf may resign as Pakistan's President next year and get re-elected for another five-year term.

india Updated: May 14, 2006 17:20 IST

Pervez Musharraf may resign as Pakistan's President next year and get re-elected for another five-year term by the present National and Provincial Assemblies before they are dissolved and general elections held, a close confidant of the general has indicated.

"If the president has to seek re-election from the present assembly, whose term lasts till November 16, 2007, he can do so by resigning any time earlier than that day," said SM Zafar, a former Law Minister and a constitutional lawyer.

"Such a step will be in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and the present assemblies can elect the president after following the procedure of the election as envisaged in Second schedule of the Constitution," he told Dawan daily in an interview published on Sunday.

"To put it simply, if the president were to resign in September 2007 or earlier, and if the present electoral college is not dissolved by then, he may, after a contest, be re-elected for another term of five years, which will start from the day he takes oath," said Zafar, who is considered as a legal advisor to Musharraf.

He said that rules permitted present assemblies to re-elect Musharraf as president for another term if they were not dissolved prematurely and if he resigns from the office before the completion of his term.

He also said that Musharraf could also continue as Army Chief even after resigning as President. "In view of the Two Offices Act, also approved by the Supreme Court, he can legally continue as the army chief."

Zafar's comments followed speculation that Musharraf planned to get elected by the same Assemblies, which elected him in 2002 apprehending uncertainty in the general elections, scheduled to be held after next November.