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Pakistan police seal off capital to prevent protests against Musharraf re-election bid

[JURIST] Pakistan police closed off the capital of Islamabad on Thursday to prevent protesters from rallying against President Musharraf's bid for a second five-year term in office. Pakistani lawyers had threatened earlier in the week to defy a government ban on gatherings of more than five people to protest Musharraf's candidacy, which they call illegitimate as Musharraf also serves as the head of the military. The election is scheduled for October 6 and the Supreme Court of Pakistan is expected to issue its ruling on court challenges to Musharraf's re-election bid [JURIST report] within the next several days.

Also Thursday, the Pakistani Supreme Court chief judge ordered the release of over 200 opposition party workers [AP report] who have been detained [JURIST report] by the government since Saturday. The government had justified the arrests as necessary to maintain law and order. AP has more.

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