Sep 27, 2007

Can Army Chief run for the office of President?

27th Sept 2007, Interesting debate happened when Barister Aitizaz Ahsan addressed the 9 member bench of supreme court as amicus curiae, or ‘friend of the court’. Bench is hearing petitions challenging General Pervez Musharraf’s position as president and army chief and his eligibility to be a candidate in the next presidential election.

Chaudhry Aitizaz said that the government counsel had argued that impediments in the way of the president becoming army chief had been removed through the 17th Amendment and the two-offices bill, but “impediments” in the way of the COAS becoming president were still in place.

He questioned how a presidential candidate could assume the office after winning the election when he was not qualified for the post at the time of submission of nomination papers.

“Can a non-Muslim file valid nomination papers promising to convert to Islam if elected? Can the chief election commissioner, for that matter, stand for election on a promise that he would resign from government service if elected?” Ahsan asked. Daily Times Report (click here)

Interestingly, next day, Chaudhry's sahib's party chairperson Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto said that she would accept General Pervez Musharraf as her president if she became prime minister, provided the Supreme Court passed a verdict in his favour and he was re-elected as president. (Click here)

Constitution of Pakistan: (click here)
Article 63 (clauses 1-D and 1-K) - deal with the qualification and disqualification of parliamentarians and presidential candidates.

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