Jan 26, 2008

LA Times Editorial: Fair elections in Pakistan

26 Jan, 2008: LA Times Editorial asked that the U.S. must use its leverage with Pakistan's president to ensure that the Feb. 18 voting meets international standards.

President Bush should tell Musharraf that unless he takes steps to correct the glaring electoral irregularities, he can no longer count on U.S. support after a contested election. Bush should specifically demand that Musharraf replace the election commission, whose members are widely viewed as either corrupt, incompetent or both, with a balanced panel that includes opposition figures. Bush should also insist that media restrictions be lifted and that international election monitors be given unfettered access.

House and Senate leaders, particularly the Republicans, whom Musharraf considers more friendly, and those who sit on the committees that control U.S. aid to Pakistan, should write a similar open letter. They include Sens. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), and Reps. Tom Lantos (D-Burlingame), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine).

And the leading presidential candidates should tell American voters why the prospect of a stolen Pakistani election should matter to us, and insist that Musharraf prevent it. Read more

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