Musharraf Re-Election Formally Ratified

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ Pakistan's electoral commission has
formally ratified the election of Pervez Musharraf for a second 5-year term as president.

The move had been widely expected, after it was approved by the
justices Musharraf himself had chosen for the country's Supreme
Court. It paves the way for Musharraf to resign from the army and
rule as a civilian.

But his stated desire to have free and fair parliamentary
elections could face a new threat. A loose coalition of opposition
groups says it will boycott the voting unless the government lifts
the state of emergency and restores justices who've been fired. The
group also wants to see all political prisoners released within
four days.

Musharraf declared the state of emergency on November 3rd,
citing escalating danger posed by Islamic extremists. His critics
have noted, though, that many of his moves have been against
political opponents.


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