Pakistan: Musharraf’s party announces elections boycott

4th May 2013

ISLAMABAD, (Xinhua): Days after a court in Pakistan banned former President Pervez Musharraf from contesting elections for the rest of his life for abrogating constitution during the emergency in 2007, his party Friday announced boycott of the May 11 elections.

Spokesman for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League accused the country’s election panel of adopting a ‘bias’ attitude towards the former President.

Several courts had earlier disqualified Musharraf from contesting elections, frustrating his plan to take part active role in politics.

Musharraf, who had resigned in 2008 and went into self-exile, returned to Pakistan in March to take part in elections and to lead his party.

Secretary General of the party, Dr Amjad, told a press conference in Islamabad on Friday that the rejection of Musharraf’ s nomination papers has forced the party to boycott the elections.

Musharraf has been arrested in connection with the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto and keeping dozens of judges in illegal confinement when he had imposed emergency rule.

Amjad said Musharraf will defend himself in the courts and that he expects justice.

He said the APML does not expect fair and transparent election and that is main reason the party has taken the decision to boycott the polls.

He said that nearly 170 party candidates for the National Assembly and provincial assembly seats have withdrawn papers.

Spokesperson of Musharraf’s party Asia Ishaq said that election commission has allowed those people to contest election who have ” robbed” the country but the election authorities have barred Pervez Musharraf who “saved Pakistan in the time of difficulties”.

Political observers said the boycott will not have a major impact on the voting turnout as Musharraf’s party is new and its chief is now in detention and cannot run campaign.


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