Sunday, November 11, 2007

Musharraf is going to pull another fast one

Pakistan's military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf has promised an early January election, restoring Pakistan to democratic civilian rule. Sort of.
Pakistan was set on a course for troubled elections yesterday after President Pervez Musharraf promised polls by early January but said they may be held under emergency rule.

In his first press conference since he suspended the constitution and assumed sweeping powers eight days ago, Musharraf said a general election would take place by January 9. But he refused to give a date for lifting emergency rule, under which thousands of opponents have been detained and some beaten, and suggested it would remain in place until polling day.

"It will ensure absolutely fair and transparent elections," he said.

Yeah, that'll work. Here's a list of rights which are suspended under Musharraf's "emergency rule".

  • Protection of life and liberty.

  • The right to free movement.
  • The right of detainees to be informed of their offense and given access to lawyers.
  • Protection of property rights.
  • The right to assemble in public.
  • The right to free speech.
  • Equal rights for all citizens before law and equal legal protection.
  • Media coverage of suicide bombings and militant activity is curtailed by new rules. Broadcasters also face a three-year jail term if they "ridicule" members of the government or armed forces.
Yup! You can really have an open election campaign with rules like those. This is the guy the Bush administration just can't help themselves from heaping praise upon.

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