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Pakistan high court judge says Musharraf ruling could be delayed until mid-November

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] judge presiding over a case challenging the legality of President Pervez Musharraf's re-election bid said Thursday that the court is unlikely to rule in the case until mid-November. The court has previously said it hoped to issue a decision by the end of this week, but arguments have gone on longer than expected. If hearings do not wrap up Friday, scheduling conflicts will prevent the court from holding another hearing until November 12. Musharraf's current term is set to expire November 15.

Musharraf won an overwhelming victory [JURIST report] last month in legislative elections for the presidency, according to unofficial results. The Supreme Court ruled before the election that the controversial ballot could proceed even though Musharraf continued to serve as army chief, but it barred the Election Commission of Pakistan [official website] from officially declaring a winner until the high court rules on whether Musharraf was in fact eligible to run under the circumstances. The government has hinted that there exists the possibility of martial law [JURIST report] if election results are invalidated, but Justice Javed Iqbal said Thursday that the court would not be pressured to make a decision and that "no group should think it can take the Supreme Court hostage." BBC News has more.

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