Officials in Pakistan say former president Pervez Musharraf has been disqualified from running in the country's upcoming parliamentary election. It comes weeks after he returned following four years in exile.
The 69-year-old, who faced death threats from the Taliban upon his return, was disqualified last week from running in three districts, but was given approval to run in the northern district of Chitral.
However, following an appeal by lawyers, it is understood that on Tuesday, a tribunal in Peshawar disqualified Musharraf's nomination in Chitral. A court official told the news agency dpa that the nomination had been thrown out on the grounds the former president violated the constitution by imposing emergency rule in 2007.
"His paper has been rejected by the high court. We will file an appeal in the Supreme Court," Musharraf's lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri told AFP.
"The world will see what democracy we have," Kasuri added.
Pakistangoes to the polls on Saturday, May 11. It marks the first democratic transition from one government to another in the country's history as an independent nation.
Musharraf returned to Pakistan after four years of self-imposed exile in late March, vowing to contest the election. He seized power in 1999 in a bloodless coup. During his time in office, he maintained a strong partnership with the US government in its war on terror, while also supporting measures to combat insurgencies in his own country. In 2008, the threat of impeachment forced him to relinquish power and eventually leave Pakistan.
The retired general faces charges related to the killing of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007, and the death in 2006 of a rebel leader from the Baluchistan region, as well as the sacking of judges when he imposed emergency rule in 2007. Musharraf is currently out on bail.
Musharraf's nomination comes just one day after he revealed his All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party manifesto at a press conference.
"The only thing in my heart was to save Pakistan and now I am here I have the same commitment, that I will save Pakistan," he said on Monday.
However the press conference was overshadowed by questions about his nine years in power.
jr/mz (AFP, dpa, AP)