Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Step in the Right Direction

Yesterday, Pakistani President, General Musharraf made a statement that if he managed to be reelected in the coming presidential election he would be sworn into office as a civilian, not as army chief. In Pakistan, it is a law that no “state servant” may run for political office within two years of retiring from their state position. This law was amended last week by the Election Comission to allow candidates in presidential elections to run within this two year period (as in the case of General Musharraf). This issue is complicated because Musharraf is a retired general; however, he remains largely in control of the armed forces as “army chief”. The Supreme Court has yet to make a ruling on whether or not he will be allowed to run, but even so this subject raises questions of legitimacy within the political system of Pakistan. Should Musharraf be allowed to run for President a second time? Should Presidents anywhere be the head of both the military and the government?

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