Media and lawyers riot in Pakistan over court permitting Musharraf to run


Pakistan's election commission Saturday accepted President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's nomination to run in next week's presidential elections as riots between police and anti-Musharraf protesters erupted outside the commission's building in Islamabad.

Pakistan's Supreme Court cleared the way for the commission's action Friday by rejecting petitions that attempted to prevent Musharraf from seeking re-election, effectively allowing him to run in next week's elections for another five-year term.

Displeased with the decision, scores of journalists and anti-Musharraf lawyers led demonstrations Saturday that eventually turned violent.

Wielding riot batons and tear gas, police cracked down on crowds massed outside the Supreme Court and the nearby election commission office.

Video footage showed a crush of people pushing against the shields of riot police as smoke from tear gas canisters clouded the background.

There is something interesting about seeing a combined media and lawyer mob, that reminds of how they both sometimes appear to act in Washington. They are obviously disappointed that Pakistan is not a real democracy with the rule of law. Perhaps if both had been more concerned with corruption and the rule of law when it was a democracy they could have made it work.


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