Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf’s party on Saturday said it would boycott the upcoming Pakistan general elections in the wake of the Peshawar High Court’s order barring the former military ruler from contesting elections for the rest of his life.
Muhammad Amjad, the spokesman for Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) party at a news conference in Islamabad announced that his party has decided to boycott the May 11 general elections.
“The rejection of Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s nomination papers has resulted in this decision by the party,” he said.
“Musharraf will face all cases against him and will not run away from any charges,” Amjad added.
All 170 candidates fielded by the APML had withdrawn from the polls, Amjad said according to a Press Trust of India (PTI) report.
The 69-year-old former President’s dreams of returning to power in Pakistan were shattered after electoral tribunal officials rejected his nomination papers in all four constituencies of the country he filed nominations at and disqualified him from contesting the May 11 elections.
On Tuesday, a four-member bench of the Peshawar High Court banned Musharraf from contesting elections for the rest of his life stating that he had abrogated constitution by imposing an emergency rule in 2007 and detaining judges in the same period.
Musharraf who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008 following a bloodless military coup, voluntarily resigned from the post upon facing an impeachment. He was in a self-imposed exile in London and Dubai until he returned to Pakistan in March last week to contest the general elections.
Musharraf, a former army chief of Pakistan is battling several criminal cases and treason charges levelled against him for his decisions when he was in power.
He was placed under judicial custody after a Pakistani high court and anti-terrorism court denied him bail in two cases – one pertaining to his decision to place 62 judges under house arrest during an emergency period in 2007 and in another case where he is charged for his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to kill former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who died in a gun and bomb attack in 2007 during an election rally.
Musharraf is being held under house arrest in his farmhouse, which was declared a sub-jail after his arrest.