Musharraf Wins

As predicted, Musharraf won the majority of votes in the National Assembly in his bid for another five-year term as President of Pakistan. The results are held however, and he cannot be declared winner until the Supreme Court of Pakistan clears the challenges to his running for president.

Pundits have that taking 10-11 days, so in a couple of weeks we will know if the victory will stand or not. From Bloomberg:

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) — Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf took the majority of votes in a presidential election today, allowing the U.S.-backed military ruler to extend his eight-year rule amid protests by opposition parties.

Musharraf, 64, who took power in a military coup in 1999, got 252 out of 257 votes cast by lawmakers in the national assembly and senate, Qazi Muhammed Farooq, chief election commissioner, said in parliament in the capital Islamabad today. Votes were still being counted in the four provincial assemblies, state-owned Pakistan Television reported.

The Supreme Court barred the Election Commission yesterday from declaring a winner until a verdict is reached on a case challenging Musharraf’s eligibility. Presidential candidates Wajihuddin Ahmed, a retired Supreme Court justice, and Makhdoom Amin Fahim, vice chairman of Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, claim the law bars Musharraf’s candidacy while he heads the army.

“The results show the people want continuity, stability and economic growth,” Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told Pakistan Television in a televised interview after the announcement. “The election system was very transparent, and we are sure when the provincial votes are counted, the president would have a majority from there too.”

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