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Pakistan lawyers clash with police over Musharraf re-election ruling

[JURIST] Pakistani riot police clashed with lawyers demonstrating outside the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) [official websites] Saturday, as hundreds protested a high court ruling [JURIST report] allowing Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile] to run for another term as president while still serving as chief of the Pakistani army. A former vice-president of the Supreme Court Bar Association said twenty lawyers were injured. The demonstration was the first large-scale public action by lawyers since July, when the Supreme Court of Pakistan reinstated suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry [JURIST news archive], holding that President Pervez Musharraf's March 9 suspension of Chaudhry was illegal. The ECP, which formally accepted Musharraf's nomination as a presidential candidate Sunday, recently implemented rule changes [press release] allowing Musharraf to remain as army chief while he campaigns for a third-term.

Last Thursday, Pakistani police sealed off Islamabad [JURIST report] to prevent opposition members from rallying against Musharraf. Earlier this month, Musharraf announced that he will only step down as army chief [JURIST report] if he is re-elected in the October 6 election. The International Herald Tribune has more.

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