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Court Ruling May Not Be Last Word on Musharraf

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf won Saturday's election handily, though a pending Supreme Court decision could rule him ineligible. That ruling won't occur until Oct. 17 at the earliest, and while Musharraf's supporters are celebrating, their euphoria isn't shared on the streets of Islamabad, according to NPR's Philip Reeves.

People in a marketplace in Islamabad seemed indifferent, cynical, resigned after the election, Reeves says. They see it as part of a complex process in which Musharraf is using his power to hold on to office in a manner that has nothing to do with democracy, Reeves says.

The arguments before the Supreme Court hinge on whether it was legal for Musharraf to run for the presidency as an army officer, whether he is violating a law that says government servants must wait for two years after leaving a post before seeking elective office, and whether the election commission, which is pro-Musharraf, could change the rules at the last minute, exempting him from disqualification.

It's not at all clear whether Musharraf would accept a ruling against him, Reeves says.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Philip Reeves is an award-winning international correspondent covering South America. Previously, he served as NPR's correspondent covering Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.
James Hattori