This past Saturday, Pakistan held its presidential election. It’s no surprise that the good General came out on top. In Pakistan, presidents are chosen by an electoral college, consisting of the Senate, the National Assembly, and the Provincial Assemblies and these governing bodies were elected in 2002 during a rigged election. Musharraf’s re-election was a guarantee.
Musharraf now needs approval from the Supreme Court, which will look at the legality of his re—election beginning on October 17. Under the Pakistani constitution, one is prohibited from running for president while still acting as an army chief. Most argue that it’s unlikely the Supreme Court will rule against Musharraf.
The White House commented that “Pakistan is an important partner and ally to the United States and we congratulate them for today’s election.” This response doesn’t raise eyebrows: the U.S. stands behind Musharraf quite often and has even helped broker the recent “power—sharing deal” between former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Musharraf. This partnership will allow Musharraf to remain in power for another five years, as her support stands to legitimize Musharraf’s rule.
No wonder the British publication, the Independent called the election a “charade masquerading as democracy.”