Sharif barred from Pakistan polls

Officials say past criminal convictions make former prime minister ineligible.

    Sharif had threatened to boycott the elections
    but still lodged nomination papers [AFP]
    Sharif, who returned from seven years of exile on November 25, had threatened to boycott the elections but submitted his nomination papers last week.
     
    'Politically motivated'
     
    Sharif says the convictions secured against him in the wake of his 1999 removal by Pervez Musharraf, the current president, were politically motivated.
     
    His exclusion from the vote is likely to be seen by the opposition as the result of pressure on election officials by Musharraf.
     
    "I'm very clear that there is somebody else who is manouevring things," said Imtiaz Kaifi, one of Sharif's lawyers, adding that the Pakistan Muslim League (N), Sharif's party would decide whether to appeal.
     
    "This shows the election is based on rigging. General Musharraf can't face Mr Sharif in the polling that's why he has been denied to contest the election," said Ahsan Iqbal, a PML (N) spokesman.
     
    Benazir Bhutto, another former prime minister who returned from eight years in self-imposed exile in October, says her party will take part in the election although she has left open the option of joining Sharif in a boycott.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Holding onto Hoxha: Guarding the last statue of communist Albania

    Holding onto Hoxha: Guarding the last statue of communist Albania

    In the basement of an old museum in a village in Albania, a 78-year-old woman protects the last remnant of a dictator.

    Still Here: A story of incarceration and gentrification in the US

    Still Here: A story of incarceration and gentrification in the US

    Many formerly imprisoned women of colour return to neighbourhoods transformed beyond recognition. What awaits them?

    The 'risky business' of tracking Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga

    The 'risky business' of tracking Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga

    The former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda discusses the hunt for genocide suspects.