Ex-dictator Musharraf approved to run in Pakistan elections | News | DW | 07.04.2013
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Ex-dictator Musharraf approved to run in Pakistan elections

The city of Chitral has approved former dictator Pervez Musharraf’s application to contest its parliamentary seat in Pakistan’s national elections. But Musharraf faces legal trouble stemming from his time in power.

: Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf gestures upon his arrival at the Karachi International airport from Dubai, in Karachi on March 24, 2013. Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf returned home after more than four years in exile, defying a Taliban death threat to contest historic general elections. AFP PHOTO/ AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Musharraf in Karachi nach Rückkehr nach Pakistan

Although Musharraf faces charges of violating Pakistan's constitution, poll officials in the northern city of Chitral said on Sunday that the former military ruler could run for parliament absent a conviction.

"His papers are in order," poll official Jamal Khan told the AFP news agency. "He is not convicted so far, so we cannot disqualify him."

Musharraf's home city of Karachi disqualified him from running, as did the Punjab town of Kasur on Friday. Islamabad will decide on Sunday whether or not he can contest one of the city's parliamentary seats.

Out on bail

On March 24, Musharraf returned from four years of self-imposed exile in London and Dubai, in order to run in Pakistan's elections on May 11. The elections are set to be the country's first democratic transition of power in its history, which has been marred by military coups.

Musharraf, a general in the Pakistani army, came to power in a bloodless coup in 1999. He was forced to step down as president in 2008 under threat of impeachment after his party lost in general elections.

The former dictator has been granted bail on charges related to the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the 2006 killing of a Baloch tribal chief, and the detention of judges in 2007.

On Monday, Pakistan's Supreme Court will hear a petition calling for Musharraf to be tried for treason for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

slk/mz (AP, AFP, dpa)