Oct. 7, 2007 -- Pakistan's presidential elections went as smoothly as expected on Saturday.
But while Gen. Pervez Musharraf seemed to emerge victorious and elected for another five-year term, the Pakistan Supreme Court is looking at the vote results following Musharraf's political opposition claim that the election was unconstitutional.
Musharraf bagged 671 out the total 684 votes polled by the electoral college. The total number of electoral college is 1170. The remaining members either resigned from the parliament or abstained from voting.
Musharraf's closest competition, retired judge Wajihuddin Ahmed, got only eight votes. Retired Lt. General Talat Masud, former defense secretary, said, "the election result was a forgone conculsion &$151; it was expected, and came as no surprise."
Ahmed has filed a case in the Supreme Court against Musharrafs eligibility to run for the office of the president while still in uniform as the army chief.
The court ruled that elections should take place on time, but the result of the presidential election should not be officially notified until the court rules on Musharraf's pending eligibility case, which is expected by Oct. 17.
"He will have some legal predicaments, but will easily overcome them," said Masud.
Jubilant supporters of Musharraf danced in the streets of the capital after the unofficiall result was announced. Fireworks were held in the later part of the evening in various parts of the country.
While Musharraf's supporters celebrated in the rest of the country, lawyers in the the troubled North-West Frontier province clashed with the police. Several lawyers were injured — some seriously — when police baton-charged the lawyers protesting Musharrafs re-election bid.
A vast majority of people in Pakistan view Musharraf's bid to secure another five-year term as illegal and unconstitutional. They say Musharraf is part of the problem that the country faces today.
Last week, Musharraf signed a national reconciliation ordinance, thereby absolving Pakistan's former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, and other favorable politicians, of all corruption charges — a move that has been criticized by many national and international forums.
Bhutto, a one-time rival, termed as a "security risk" and a "plunderer of national wealth," by none other that Musharraf, himself, is now seen as a major partner in the future government to be formed under Musharra.