Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto expects her Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) to pick up additional seats in the January election, but will have to become part of a coalition in order to govern. She said a coalition with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is possible, but she would not form any alliance with clerics or any political group that is affiliated with President Musharraf. “No one will accept a Q victory,” she said, referring to Musharraf’s wing of the Pakistan Muslim League. Bhutto emphasized the president lacks support in the nation and people are forced to attend his rallies. Bhutto believes the only way Musharraf’s party can gain large numbers of seats in parliament is through manipulation of the voting process. She urged the United States to send observers to the election. One of here supporters, Supreme Court Bar Association President Altazaz Ahsan, announced he would not run for a seat in parliament because the entire process has been rigged by Musharraf supporters.
President Musharraf said he would “try to work with anyone who comes to power after the elections,” but such a task will be difficult for those who resent the state of emergency decree and his sacking of supreme court judges. To make matters worse for Musharraf, there are reports al-Qaeda is planning to assassinate him on his next trip to Karachi. They are planning to blow up a bridge he will cross after leaving the airport. It is unfortunate that Musharraf muddied the waters of electoral honesty by declaring a state of emergency and imprisoning hundreds of lawyers and judges. The world will watch closely what happens in the January election.