Musharraf vote ruling unlikely until Nov 12

Pakistan's Supreme Court is unlikely to rule on the legality of military ruler Pervez Musharraf's victory in a presidential election until November 12, judges and lawyers said on Thursday.

Musharraf vote ruling unlikely until Nov 12
The verdict on the October 6 vote had been expected by the end of this week, but legal arguments were taking longer than predicted and the court is not sitting next week, presiding judge Javed Iqbal said.

The timing for the case will now be tight, as Musharraf's term as president ends on November 15. There is speculation he could declare an emergency if the court nullifies the win or if the case overshoots that date.

"It was our effort to wind up the case by Thursday or Friday but it has lingered on due to lengthy arguments by the lawyers," Iqbal told the court as he adjourned proceedings for the day.

"If this case does not conclude by tomorrow it will not be heard next week due to engagements of one of the judges and will be then heard on 12 November," he added.

Pakistan's attorney general and other government lawyers have yet to conclude their arguments, while the lawyers presenting the petitions against Musharraf's election win are also expected to need more time.

The court is dealing with two appeals against the presidential election that focus on Musharraf's role as army chief and on the fact that the vote was carried out by the outgoing national and provincial parliaments.

Aitzaz Ahsan, the main lawyer for the petitioners, said it appeared the case would now go on after November 12 and accused the government of adopting delaying tactics.

"The government seems to have changed its strategy and I feel there is something black at the bottom of it," he told the court.

Former premier Benazir Bhutto abruptly cancelled a trip to Dubai on Wednesday night after saying that she had heard rumours that Musharraf may declare a state of emergency.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Kasım 2007, 16:03