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Musharraf Wins Presidential Vote, But Victory Not Official

  • VOA News

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has won the most votes in his country's presidential election, but the Supreme Court still could overturn the result.

Election officials say General Musharraf won 252 of the 257 votes cast Saturday in parliament. Pakistani television says he also swept the voting in three of Pakistan's four provincial assemblies.

But he cannot be officially declared the winner until the Supreme Court rules on legal challenges to his eligibility to seek office again while remaining in his post as army chief.

At the presidential palace in Islamabad, President Musharraf declared victory and urged opposition parties to give up the politics of confrontation.

When asked about the legitimacy of the election, he said he received the majority of votes and that "democracy means majority."

Prior to the vote, nearly 200 opposition legislators resigned their parliamentary seats in protest. They argued that as head of the army, General Musharraf is not allowed to run for president.

Pakistan's Supreme Court will resume hearings October 17th.

Three ballots in the election were judged invalid and two votes went to his main rival, retired judge Wajihuddin Ahmad.

On Friday, General Musharraf granted amnesty to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and other politicians, clearing the way for a power-sharing deal.

The amnesty will allow Ms. Bhutto, who is charged with corruption, to return home from self-imposed exile without fear of being arrested. As part of the deal, she is hoping to serve as prime minister for a third time.

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