Pakistan court disqualifies former president Musharraf from upcoming election

[JURIST] A three-member appellate tribunal on Tuesday disqualified former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] from running in the upcoming parliamentary election for the remote northern district of Chitral. Musharraf returned to Pakistan [Reuters report] last month after years in exile for the purpose of running in the parliamentary elections. Earlier this month, a judge authorized Musharraf to run [AP report] in the district, despite his disqualification in three other districts for his actions as president. Lawyers Taufiq Asif and Rao Abdur Rahim challenged the lower court's decision [AP report], citing procedural flaws with the former military ruler's nomination and controversial actions such as suspending the constitution and sacking senior judges while in power as president. The appellate tribunal threw out his nomination because he violated the constitution [Al-Jazeera report] in 2007 by imposing emergency rule on the nation. Musharraf plans to appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court [official website].

This is the latest development in Musharraf's continued legal troubles in Pakistan. Last week, a court extended the bail [JURIST report] granted to Musharraf, who faces charges of detaining judges during his time in office. Also last week, the country's Supreme Court delayed his treason hearing [JURIST report] until early next week to give his lawyers enough time to prepare a response to the allegations. In March, Human Rights Watch [advocacy website]urged [JURIST report] Pakistan to hold Musharraf accountable for alleged human rights abuses upon his return to the country. Pakistani authorities last year pledged to arrest [JURIST report] him for his alleged involvement in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. In 2011, a court ordered seizure of his property [JURIST report] and froze his bank account after he failed to respond to multiple subpoenas regarding the assassination investigation. Pakistani authorities had issued an arrest warrant for him earlier that year but were unable to serve the warrant [JURIST report] because he was in London. The warrant was issued weeks after investigations revealed [JURIST report] that Musharraf had issued orders to the police officers accused of failing to protect Bhutto to remove security detail for her departure on the day of her assassination.

 

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