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Chaudhry still 'constitutional' chief justice of Pakistan: new bar president

[JURIST] Ali Ahmad Kurd, the newly-elected president [Daily Times report] of the Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), called [IANS report] ousted Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry [JURIST news archive] the "constitutional" chief justice of Pakistan Wednesday, and said Chaudhry would "soon be restored" to his former post. Chaudhry was removed from his position as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] by former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf following Musharraf's November 3, 2007 declaration of emergency rule [JURIST report]. Kurd, a prominent leader of the Pakistan lawyers' movement [New York Times backgrounder], takes over from Aitzaz Ahsan [JURIST news archive], who also supported Chaudhry's return to office. From Pakistan, Dawn has more. Geo TV has additional coverage.

Although Pakistani officials have now reinstated most of the over 60 judges ousted by Musharraf under the emergency, the Law Minister of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has repeatedly insisted that Chaudhry will not be reinstated [JURIST report] because current chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar was, according to him, legitimately appointed [JURIST report] and the Pakistani Constitution [text] does not permit the appointment of two chief justices. Chaudhry was the prime mover in the Pakistan Supreme Court's pre-emergency bid to constrain the country's executive, a role which brought about his initial suspension [JURIST report] by Musharraf in March 2007. He was subsequently reinstated [JURIST report] after months of agitation by Pakistani lawyers.

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