Musharraf Declares Emergency

Pakistan's president defies top court, blacks out the media
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2007 9:02 AM CDT
A portrait of Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf is removed from the front of the parliament building in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007. Pakistan's Supreme Court had said it would...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pervez Musharraf today declared emergency rule in Pakistan, suspending the constitution and blacking out media other than state-run stations, the BBC reports. The move comes on the eve of the court's ruling on the legality of Gen. Musharraf's re-election as president. The court, asked to legitimize the declaration, voted 8-3 against it, the AP reports. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has been replaced, and the other justices are detained in the court building.

The general's move, long anticipated by opposition parties, could be aimed to clear the way for him to remain president if the election ruling goes against him. It comes just 2 days after former PM Benazir Bhutto left the country to visit family in Dubai. Phone lines in the capital, Islamabad, have been cut, the BBC says.