Like a well-orhestrated dance movement fresh challenges were filed with the Supreme Court against Musharraf running for President in a pre-general election vote by the assembly. These might be better crafted than the last and actually get heard, but if not then time is running out to stop the final steps of the complex dance.
In the Northwest Frontier Province the regional assembly was stopped from dissolution by a no-confidence notice filed by 31 legislators, mostly PML-Q, and just enough PPP members to make the margin needed for the the no-confidence. This prevents MMA and other parties in the All-Parties Democracy Movement from depriving Musarraf of a critical bloc of votes in the election.
Bhutto’s corruption case has been reversed, and 85 members resigned from the national assembly in an attempt to stop the upcoming election. It’s not enough however, and was an expected move.
President Musharraf has named his successor, Lt-Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and promoted him to four-star general in preparation for leaving the role of head of Army. For those interested, the BBC has an article on the General, including an extensive Biography.
The remaining challenges in court might impede but will not stop the assembly election, and my money is still on Benazir Bhutto being elected Prime Minister in the General Election. It will be interesting to see how that goes – in most times the PM generally rules the country with the office of the President relegated to foreign embassies and affairs.
What to watch for: If PPP member start resigning from the assembly prior to the elections then all bets are off.
One more thing: Just remember I predicted that all this was going to happen a while back. The ability to make that prediction came from scouring several Pakistani papers nightly over the past several months; it’s not a special talent or anything magical since political maneuvering in Pakistan mirrors that in the rest of the world in the end.
While passions run high for perfection in leadership, it’s truly rare that anyone in any country gets that – you have to choose the best you can get from the lot that’s running.