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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf

Bush's "Democracy On The March"

His buddy, Musharraf, Declares Emergency Rule in Pakistan

Constitution Suspended; Chief Judge Fired

As reported by the WaPo -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday declared emergency rule, suspended the constitution and fired the country's chief justice, extraordinary steps that gave him almost absolute power in a country that he described as spinning out of control.

The government deployed hundreds of army rangers on the streets of Islamabad, arrested some opposition figures and blacked out privately owned television stations across the country.

Wapo also reports:

For Musharraf, who has become deeply unpopular in recent months, the moves represented a drastic gamble and came despite intense appeals from the United States and other Western allies to stay within the bounds of the Pakistani constitution.

In an emergency order, Musharraf cited rising extremism and a judiciary "at cross purposes" with the rest of the government as reasons for the moves. But the timing suggested he was also attempting to extend his rule as both president and army chief. The Supreme Court had been reviewing a challenge to his candidacy for another presidential term, and was expected to rule as early as next week.

The court made a defiant but ultimately unsuccessful attempt Saturday to block Musharraf's implementation of emergency rule; in response, seven dissident justices were immediately removed from the bench. Musharraf said the Parliament, where he holds a commanding majority, would remain intact. Democracy On The March? Nah

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