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Pakistan martial law possible if high court denies Musharraf re-election bid: official

[JURIST] Pakistani Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Niazi said Tuesday that martial law may be declared in the country if the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] rules against President Pervez Musharraf's bid for re-election. Niazi said that his statement should not be regarded as a threat, but rather an indication that the possibility for martial law remains should the court rule against the president. The court is scheduled to hear legal arguments [JURIST report] against Musharraf's re-election campaign on Wednesday. Opponents have challenged that Musharraf should not have been allowed to run for president while still retaining his position as chief of the Pakistan's army.

Earlier this month, Musharraf won an overwhelming victory [JURIST report] in presidential elections in the National Assembly of Pakistan, according to unofficial results. The Supreme Court had previously ruled that the controversial ballot could proceed, but it barred the Election Commission of Pakistan [official website] from officially declaring a winner until the high court issues a ruling on whether Musharraf was in fact an eligible presidential candidate. His current term expires November 15. IANS has more.

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