Candidates opposing Musharraf

Three are in the fray, but one of them is just an alternate runner for Amin Fahim.

    Al Jazeera profiles the two men trying to unseat Pervez Musharraf from the presidency on October 6.

    Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Pakistan People's Party

    Makhdoom Amin Fahim is nicknamed "he who brings good harvest" and the 69-year-old recently reaped the reward of years of loyal service to the Pakistan People’s Party by being named as its candidate for president.

    Fahim is lauded by his colleagues and supporters as a man of integrity and is a close ally of Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister and the leader of the PPP.
    He is also a major landowner from the south of the country and he has been part of the political scene for nearly four decades.  

    A senior PPP leader said on Saturday that party members were abstaining and would not vote for Fahim. That decision followed a government ordinance on Friday annulling corruption charges against Bhutto and others.

    The PPP originally said Fahim would run only if Musharraf’s bid for re-election was ruled illegal by the supreme court. It was not, but he is still running.

    Wajihuddin Ahmed, lawyers' candidate

    Wajihuddin Ahmed is an embodiment of the struggle between Pervez Musharraf and the country’s lawyers.

    The softly spoken 68-year-old was central to the street protests against Musharraf the suspension of the chief justice Iftikar Mohammad Chaudrhy.

    The lawyers won that battle and they now believe with Wajihuddin as their candidate they can win the presidency.

    Speaking to Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman recently, the former supreme court judge said he really believed he had a chance of winning.

    "I have appealed to those members remaining in the assemblies, who have the right to a secret ballot, to act according to their conscience and to reflect the sentiment of their constituencies. If they do again we do have a chance," he said.

    His supporters call him the man who could have gone on to be Pakistan’s chief justice.

    They use the word could because in 2000 Ahmed was one of the supreme court judges who refused to take an oath of allegiance to  Musharraf who had staged a coup removing Nawaz Sharif from power just months earlier.

    He says winning recognition for a moral stance may be one thing but being a successful politician is entirely a different matter.

    Musharraf claims the lawyers politicised a judicial matter but Ahmed sees no conflict of interest with the judiciary becoming involved in politics.

    "All over the world lawyers have been at the vanguard of electoral struggle, there's nothing special about that," he told Al Jazeera.

    "Jinnah [the founder of Pakistan] was a lawyer, Gandhi the founder of India was a lawyer."
    Ahmed says whether he wins or not, he will have done what he can in the drive to separate Pakistan’s military from politics.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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