Musharraf to be joint candidate of PML and allies

-File photo

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Muhammad Ali Durrani on Thursday said President Pervez Musharraf would be joint candidate of Pakistan Muslim League and its coalition partners in the presidential election to be held between September 15 and October 16, 2007.
The Election Commission (EC) would announce the schedule of the election of the President whereas National and Provincial assemblies would be the Electoral College for it. He said this while addressing a press conference at the cafeteria of the Parliament House.
The Minister said the incumbent assemblies would expire on November 16, 2007 and a caretaker government would be set up as per constitutional obligation to hold the next elections. After announcement of the election schedule by the EC, the general elections would be held within two months.
To a question about President in uniform, he said the opposition should review the court’s decisions in the cases of former President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar and former Governor Punjab Altaf Hussain. He said the government would use media to hold the opposition accountable if they (opposition) keeps on jugglery of words on the issue.
Durrani was of the view that the opposition was not serious in tendering resignations and if they opt to resign from assemblies, they would be left with no issue to contest the next general elections. Besides, masses, even oppositions’ own bodies have rejected their negative steps, he claimed.
MMA’s central committee itself rejected the resignations of its Members Parliament from the National Assembly,” he said. On the question regarding any pressure from commonwealth or European Union over the uniform of the president, the minister said no country or government could recommend any steps contrary to the Constitution.
The Minister said President Pervez Musharraf had taken oath only once under the Constitution and there was no constitutional bar on him to be re-elected for a second term. To a question about a president in uniform, the Minister opined that Constitution permits and the opposition had amended the Constitution along with the government by two-third majority.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2007