UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Army backs Musharraf's civilian president plan

RIA Novosti

15/10/2007 16:05 ISLAMABAD, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Pakistani Army supports General Pervez Musharraf's decision to become a civilian president if elected to a new term, an Army spokesman said Monday.

Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad said that would be good for the country's stability and democracy.

He said that the majority of military personnel support the president's decision, while the Army does not intend to interfere in politics.

Acting President General Pervez Musharraf is reported to have won the presidential elections held on October 6. However, the next president will only be officially announced on October 17 following a Supreme Court ruling on an opposition party petition alleging Musharraf, as the armed forces commander in chief, is not entitled to run for president.

Musharraf's current presidential term ends on November 15. If officially recognized as president, the military chief has promised to quit the army and become a civilian president.

The country is expected to be ruled by an interim government until the parliamentary elections take place.

Two exiled former prime ministers - Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto - have already expressed their intention to run for seats in the new parliament.

Bhutto, who leads Pakistan People's Party, earlier said she was planning to return home on October 18, after more than eight years of self-imposed exile.

Sharif returned to Pakistan on September 10, but was deported to Saudi Arabia shortly after his plane had touched down at Islamabad airport.

General Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1999. After the 2002 parliamentary election, Musharraf retained his presidential and military titles, as well as the right to dissolve parliament and dismiss the government.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list