Pakistan: Musharraf moves to increase powers

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf took steps towards a substantial increase in his powers on Wednesday with proposed measures which will enable him to dissolve Parliament. Opposition parties have reacted angrily, claiming that it is Parliament which should alter the Constitution, not the President.

Claiming that these measures are being taken to strengthen democracy in the country before October’s general elections, Musharraf also claims for himself the right to nominate the military hierarchy, giving him absolute political and military power.

A new National Council, presided over by Musharraf, will control the government’s programme and will include a token member of an opposition party, to guarantee democracy. Yet the Pakistani President’s declarations concerning this new body gives a telling insight into his view of the word: “The majority of people to whom this new organism was proposed were against it but despite this, I consider that it is necessary”, he declared.

Pervez Musharraf was re-elected as President for a further term of five years after a referendum last April. It appears he is here to stay.


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