By Mahvish Akhtar, MMNS
The President of Pakistan is planning on staying in power for some time longer. The current assembly is going to elect the president for another term.
Senator S.M Zafar of the ruling party says that this is a â€œcompletely legal and justified re-election.â€ He says that the assembly can elect the president from September 2007 to January 2008. He also said that there is nothing wrong with President wanting to be re-elected by the assembly.
Peoples Party Parliamentarian chairman Makhdoom Ameen Faheem has said that since the government is used to unfair elections it will be virtually impossible for them to work out any fair system of government election. He emphasized that for an impartial and fair government it is important to put a temporary government in power. After that, fair elections should take place, which should be overlooked by a neutral election committee. He also said that the Charter of Democracy is a big Breakthrough in the beginnings for placement of a fair government. He said that they have asked the leaders of all four provinces to spread awareness about the Charter of Democracy.
The Charter of Democracy was signed between Former Prime Ministers of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif on May 15the 2006. The Charter says that the well-being of the country cannot be accomplished with military rule. It states that the only way to govern is by the public of Pakistan governing themselves via elections, and that this will build true stability in the country.
The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD), will work on a strategy to counter the Presidentâ€™s reelection by the existing assembly. Munir Ahmad Khan, the spokesperson for ARD, said that this move by the President is un-constitutional and they will design a counter move to deal with this situation. â€œThere is no constitutional, legal and moral justification for the present assemblies to re-elect Musharraf for another term. How can an assembly, itself elected for a five-year term, elect a person as president for nine years?â€ he added. He said according to the constitution an assembly could elect a president only in case a president is dead or impeached or resigns for some other reason.
None of these situations applies over here. If this system starts it will be abused in the future as well and it will open a â€œPandoraâ€™s box.â€ The course of action will be decided on July 2nd 2006 when the ARD meets in London.