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Musharraf appoints army deputy ahead of high court election case

[JURIST] Current Pakistani president and military leader General Pervez Musharraf [official website; BBC profile] appointed General Ashfaq Kiyani as new deputy army chief Monday, in an apparent consummation of his promise to step down as head of the country's military if he won a third term as president. Elections were held Saturday, and Musharraf won [JURIST report] a landslide victory, collecting 252 out of 257 votes in the National Assembly of Pakistan [official website] and winning the support of a majority of lawmakers in three of Pakistan's four provinces. Elections results will not be finalized, however, until the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] rules on the legality of Musharraf's candidacy.

Musharraf's opponents had challenged his re-election bid [JURIST report] over his dual role as president and army chief, arguing that the Election Commission of Pakistan [official website] should not have accepted Musharraf's nomination as a presidential candidate. The high court ruled last week that the controversial ballot could proceed, but it barred the Election Commission from officially declaring a winner until the court issues a ruling on whether Musharraf was in fact an eligible presidential candidate. The earliest the court will be able to issue a ruling is October 17, at which time it will hear arguments in the case. AFP has more.

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