The Pakistan Supreme court dismissed the challenges to President Pervez Musharraf running for president again while still in uniform, and yesterday he filed for the election coming October 6. When the ruling was read, opposition lawyers howled and chanted “Go Musharraf, Go!” the rallying cry for the oppostion parties and alliances in Pakistan.
Some opposition parties resigned in protest, however his bloc of votes is likely still large enough to gain him re-election. He has made the promise to remove his uniform and hand the military over to his hand-picked appointees post-election if he wins. Alternately, if the assembly fails to elect him he has said he will return to his position as head of the army.
Several opposition candidates have also filed a bid for president, including a retired lawyer from the Lawyer’s bloc who created large-scale protests across Pakistan that led to the eventual freeing of Chaudry Iftikhar, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Waiting in the wings behind this are the general elections, which are likely to create a new prime minister. Benazir Bhutto has also booked her return ticket, and should be returning October 18th.