Pakistan elections

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Musharraf Plans to Stay Prez Despite Loss

Hopes to forge alliance and aid 'in a positive way'

(Newser) - Pervez Musharraf wants to stay president despite his party's crushing defeat in Pakistan's national election, he told the Wall Street Journal today. He said he hopes to aid the country's transition to democracy and cooperate with the next prime minister. "We have to move forward in a way that... More »

Bhutto Loyalist Frontrunner to Be Pakistan PM

Musharraf's party concedes defeat after drubbing at ballot box

(Newser) - President Pervez Musharraf's party has admitted defeat after losing a resounding two-thirds of its seats in parliament in Pakistan's parliamentary elections. Although final results are still not in, Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party and Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League have crushed the president's faction, which placed a distant third. The likely... More »

Pakistani Opposition Claims Win

Leading Musharraf party members lose in early returns

(Newser) - Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was trounced in a national election today as opposition leaders declared victory against militant rule and the Bush administration, the New York Times reports. An unofficial tally projected victory and 110 seats for the Pakistan People's Party, and 100 seats for Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N... More »

Pakistanis Await Poll Returns

Voter turnout light, international observers expect rigging

(Newser) - Polls have closed in Pakistani elections long-delayed by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, as fears of violence kept voter turnout down to an estimated 15%, Reuters reports. Heavy security, with more than 470,000 police and soldiers deployed at polls nationwide, did little to assuage citizens' anxiety as voting proceeded... More »

Bhutto Widower Warns of Pakistan Election Backlash

People 'on the warpath,' Asif Ali Zardari warns

(Newser) - The Pakistani government's suspected plans to disrupt tomorrow's elections will trigger widespread violence and the possible collapse of the nation, warned the widower of assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto. "People are absolutely on the warpath" and will take to the streets if the election is rigged, Asif Ali Zardari told... More »

Mass Rigging Charged Ahead of Pakistan Vote

Bhutto's party appears unstoppable but some fear fraud will rob victory

(Newser) - Pakistan's postponed parliamentary elections will finally take place on Monday, but allegations are flying that Pervez Musharraf's party has already rigged the vote. Pakistan's intelligence agencies have "pre-stuffed" ballot boxes, confiscated voter ID cards, and appointed party apparatchiks in key rural constituencies, a retired senior intelligence officer told the... More »

In Will, Bhutto Taps Husband as Successor

Zardari, now party co-chair, may aim for PM position

(Newser) - Benazir Bhutto's political will, published today, calls for her husband to take control of her party, Reuters reports. "I would like my husband Asif Ali Zardari to lead you in this interim period until you and he decide what is best," says the document. He chose to release... More »

Pakistani Urges US to Oppose Elections

Restore judges first to stabilize the country, politician says

(Newser) - A Pakistani politician turned heads last week by touting a rare view to US policymakers: Don't back Pakistan's elections. Without an independent judiciary, elections will only hurt the country, Imran Khan warned. He urged lawmakers in New York and Washington to "back the democratic process, by insisting on the... More »

Stay Out of Pakistan, Musharraf Warns US

America would 'regret day' border is breached

(Newser) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says he won't tolerate increased American activity against terrorist insurgents inside his country, warning in an interview in a Singapore newspaper that American troops will be treated as invaders if they cross the border from Afghanistan. The US would "regret that day" if it proceeds... More »

Outdated Parade Cover Bares Bhutto's Death Fears

Chilling interview before her assassination

(Newser) - "Is Benazir Bhutto America's best hope against al-Qaeda?" asks the front page of this week's Parade magazine. The issue, which features an interview with the soon-to-be-assassinated Pakistani leader, went to press almost a week before Bhutto was killed. Faced with the choice of running the issue with the outdated... More »

Pakistan Delays Vote to Feb. 18 After Violence

Musharraf asks London police for help in Bhutto assassination probe

(Newser) - On the day Pakistan announced it had rescheduled parliamentary elections for Feb. 18 in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination, President Pervez Musharraf has asked Scotland Yard to "solve all the confusion" surrounding her death, CNN reports. The country's election commission said the wave of violence after Bhutto's assassination... More »

Pakistan Vote to Be Delayed at Least 4 Weeks

Many election offices damaged in violence; PPP opposes setback

(Newser) - Pakistan's January 8 election will be postponed by at least 4 weeks, "if not more," because of violence in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's assassination, election officials tell AFP. The election commission recommended a delay, but won't specify a date until tomorrow. Bhutto's party opposes postponement on grounds... More »

Pitched Power Battle Triggered by Bhutto Death

More upheaval as parties jockey for control in chaos

(Newser) - The assassination of Benazir Bhutto will exacerbate already fraught tensions between competing Pakistani political parties, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bhutto's secular, generally pro-Western Pakistan Peoples' Party was expected to do well in upcoming parliamentary elections, but the future of the PPP is now uncertain in the aftermath of Bhutto's... More »

Benazir Bhutto Killed in Attack on Rally

Former Pakistani PM dies in surgery; 15 others killed in suicide bombing

(Newser) - Benazir Bhutto died in surgery today after an explosion at a rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The suicide attacker detonated a bomb as the former prime minister left the rally where thousands were gathered to hear her speak. "She has been martyred," said a spokesman for Bhutto's party. The... More »

Constitutional Changes Spark New Battles in Pakistan

Opponents vow to undo Musharraf's revisions

(Newser) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf just retired his army uniform, but he should prepare for a fight, the AP says, as Nawaz Sharif's opposition group plans to reverse constitutional revisions he made before lifting emergency rule yesterday. Musharraf imposed limits on the press, sealed the retirements of Supreme Court judges, and... More »

Musharraf Quits as Army Chief

'Relationship will continue,' he vows, 'though I will not be in uniform'

(Newser) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf stepped down today as chief of his nation's military in a bid to ease the tensions gripping the country. He will be installed as civilian president for a five-year term tomorrow. His resignation officially marks the end of military rule, though the country remains in a... More »

Sharif Joins Pakistan Fray

Musharraf's bitterest rival files for elections, vows to boycott unless emergency rule is lifted

(Newser) - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who returned to Pakistan yesterday after 8 years in exile, today filed papers to run in January's nationwide election, although he says he will boycott the vote unless President Pervez Musharraf lifts emergency rule, the BBC reports. Sharif—who was welcomed by throngs of supporters ... More »

Commonwealth Boots Pakistan

Group ignores Musharraf's plea, predicts 'severe' economic effects

(Newser) - Ten days after demanding democracy in Pakistan, the 53-nation Commonwealth yanked the country's membership today until Musharraf lifts military rule, the Times reports. The vote will nix hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and have "severe consequences for investment" for Pakistan's economy, a Commonwealth member said.  More »

Musharraf Won't Budge for US

In further blow to power, president's political party calls for end to martial law

(Newser) - In a face-to-face meeting today with a top American diplomat, Pervez Musharraf remained tightlipped when pressed on when he would end emergency rule in Pakistan. Musharraf told John Negroponte he would cease martial law when security improves in the country, but his resistance is winning him few fans in Pakistan... More »

Bhutto Steps Up Challenge to Emergency Rule

Protesting lawyers arrested for third day

(Newser) - The crisis in Pakistan escalated today as opposition leader Benazir Bhutto vowed to go ahead with a protest rally against emergency rule in Rawalpindi Friday, and lawyers battled police in the streets for a third day. Bhutto challenged President Pervez Musharraf to end military rule before Nov. 9, saying she... More »

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