Pakistan Political Parties Consider Electoral Boycott

Pakistan’s political opposition to the rule of General Musharraf is considering boycotting the upcoming parliamentary elections since they fear there will be no honest vote. Benazir Bhutto of the Pakistan People’s Party is discussing with her followers the possibility of refusing to take part in what most probably will be a rigged election. She notes that 25,000 ballots are being sent to each constituency which can be used to ensure victory for the Musharraf backed Muslim League. PTI Chief Imran Khan is beginning a hunger strike in protest to the suspension of the Constitution, but the Muttahda Majis-e-Amai(MMA) stated it would be involved in the election because boycotting would only ensure victory for the Muslim League.

Pakistan is confronting an unusual situation since apparently there are efforts on the part of Musharraf to stack the deck for his political supporters. Ordinarily, the Pakistan Supreme Court could halt such activities, but it has been replaced by Musharraf stooges. Chief Justice Abdul Dogar just ruled, “exceptional measures can be taken in exception al circumstances and the doctrine of necessity can also be applied.” In simple Pakistani, this means Musharraf can do anything he damn well pleases. Of course, this creates a dilemma for the Bush administration which backs the Pakistan leader while also claiming America wants democracy to triumph.