Musharraf expected to be re-elected

( AP ) - Pakistan's ruling party has enough votes to re-elect President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to a new five-year term, and the vote will likely take place in the first week of October, top party officials said Saturday.

An announcement on the date from the Election Commission is imminent, the officials said a day after opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's party announced she would return to Pakistan on Oct. 18 after an eight-year exile to campaign in parliamentary elections.

Two officials from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Q party, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the presidential vote would take place in the first week of October. The president, whose term expires Nov. 15, is chosen by an electoral college of all national and provincial lawmakers.

"We have enough votes to easily elect President Musharraf for another term,"said Azeem Chaudhry, a senior official in the leader's party.

Chaudhry said that during negotiations on power sharing with Musharraf, Bhutto had demanded too much from the government in return for backing the military leader. Her demands included that the constitution be amended so she could become prime minister for a third term if her party wins parliamentary elections - due by January 2008.

"If we do it, it will send a signal that Benazir Bhutto is the future prime minister,and in this situation who will vote for us?"Chaudhry said.

Musharraf seized power in a 1999 coup, overthrowing the government of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But the U.S.-allied military leader has seen his popularity slide this year after he tried to remove the Supreme Court's popular chief judge and Islamic militants stepped up attacks in the nation.

On Friday, Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party announced the two-time former prime minister, who left the country in 1999 amid corruption allegations, will return home in October to campaign in the parliamentary elections, regardless of the outcome of her talks with Musharraf.

"This will strengthen our efforts for democracy," Bhutto, who lives in exile in Dubai and London, told Pakistan's Geo television. "Democracy should be restored completely and the army removed from the scene."

Both Bhutto and Musharraf are urging moderates to work together to defeat Taliban and al-Qaida extremists based along the frontier with Afghanistan. But they have failed to produce an accord amid signs Musharraf is reluctant to give up his sweeping powers.

The ruling coalition says it has enough support to get the simple majority needed to re-elect Musharraf, who also holds the post of army chief. Yet the support of Bhutto's party would help achieve the two-thirds majority needed for constitutional amendments that could head off of legal challenges to his re-election bid.

One ruling party official, seeking anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, told The Associated Press that the Bhutto-Musharraf talks had divided ruling party members amid concerns that their electoral chances could suffer if Musharraf makes too many concessions to Bhutto.

Despite the uncertainty over the talks, the government says that on her return, Bhutto will not suffer the fate of political rival Sharif, who was swiftly expelled when he came back from exile Monday. But officials said she would have to face pending corruption charges.

Bhutto, now 56, was only 35 when she became prime minister in 1988, the first female leader of a modern Muslim nation. She was elected to a second term in 1993.

Analysts say even if Bhutto gains enough seats to form the government, she will be a weaker prime minister because the president enjoys more power. Bhutto's demands included clipping the wings of the president by reducing his power to dismiss the parliament, Chaudhry said.

0.03% of pupils and 0.1% of school staff in Georgia confirmed with Covid-19 this week
0.03% of pupils and 0.1% of school staff in Georgia confirmed with Covid-19 this week
Georgian Railway resumes passenger transfers
Georgian Railway resumes passenger transfers
Georgia reports 373 new cases of coronavirus on Feb.27
Georgia reports 373 new cases of coronavirus on Feb.27
Loading Bars
Latest
It is necessary to end deployment of Armenian armed forces on territory of Azerbaijan - Foreign Ministry
WHO reports over 420,000 new daily cases of COVID-19
Istanbul’s major Galataport project to go live in April
0.03% of pupils and 0.1% of school staff in Georgia confirmed with Covid-19 this week
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on February 28
Uzbekistan's largest share in formation of GDP falls on Tashkent
Azerbaijan's revenues from tea, coffee exports double in Jan.2021
Cargo movements in Iran's Khalij-e-Fars port increase
China conditionally approves one-shot recombinant COVID-19 vaccine
Stock gains power Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to higher profit
More than 165,000 apply for Turkey’s most popular scholarship
Georgian Railway resumes passenger transfers
Kazakhstan reports value increase in all types of deposits
New road put into operation in Iran's Golestan Province
Azerbaijan sets up working subgroups to prepare 2021-2025 Development Strategy
Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling in Iran
Azerbaijan reports 172 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Finance to put up medium-term bonds for auction
Azerbaijan's banking sector ends January 2021 with profit
Foundation of several manufacturing enterprises laid in Iran's Qazvin Province
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for metal detector via tender
USAID to promote start-up dev’t in Turkmenistan
President Aliyev: Any attempt to violate implementation of November 10th declaration will be very harmful for Armenia (VIDEO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for February 27
Bosnian TV channel visits liberated Azerbaijani Aghdam, reminds of Khojaly genocide
Azerbaijani police officers find ordnances left by Armenians in Khojavand (PHOTO)
Long-term energy demand impact of COVID-19 is modest
President Aliyev to Iranian reporter: Your question is a kind of an accusation (VIDEO)
New Zealand's largest city Auckland back to lockdown after COVID-19 case
Iran pins hopes on Swiss financial channel to purchase COVID-19 vaccines
Foreign journalists visit village where two-year-old Azerbaijani girl was killed by Armenians
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Chabahar port revealed
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for catering, housekeeping services
Kazakhstan boosts imports of Switzerland-made products
Uzbek ministry, German Society for International Cooperation sign agreement
Uzbekistan, China expand mutual trade despite COVID-19
Georgia reports 373 new cases of coronavirus on Feb.27
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Baku Metro continues preparatory work for commissioning of new 'November' 8 station
Iran's exports to Russia increase
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for pumps via tender
Kazakh airlines eye to launch several flights on Turkestan-Istanbul route
UNDP in Turkmenistan opens tender for services on seismic work
Volume of electricity generated by renewable energy power plants in Iran announced
Researcher talks monuments on ancient Azerbaijani lands vandalized by Armenians (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for Feb. 27
Azerbaijan's MoD shares footage from Gubadly's Afandilar village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for February 27
Remittances from Azerbaijan to Georgia show highest growth rate
Belarus considering possibility of supplying agricultural machinery to Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s Turkmenbashi Oil Refinery exceeds plan for kerosene production
Azerbaijani oil prices published
Kazakhstan's uranium mining company opens tender to acquire electro-technical materials
Issuance of construction permissions in Georgia down
Philippines extends partial coronavirus curbs in capital until end-March
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Kazakh gas supply company to attract equipment installation services via tender
Turkey's tourism industry puts hopes on safety measures for new season
Azerbaijani marketing platform plans to become regional player
Argentine health minister tests positive for COVID-19
Czech gov't declares new state of emergency over coronavirus
U.S. FDA advisors recommend approving Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
Increase in malware attacks makes cybersecurity more relevant than ever - Kaspersky Lab in Azerbaijan
South Korea vaccinates 18,000 to start ambitious COVID-19 campaign
US may announce new sanctions on Russia within weeks - White House press secretary
Founder of Indian Jet Airways eyes opening airline in Uzbekistan’s Namangan region
Saudi Arabia rejects U.S. intelligence report on Khashoggi's killing: statement
Israel registers 2,738 new COVID-19 cases, 769,971 in total
U.S. announces 'Khashoggi ban' for 76 Saudi individuals
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 427,000 in past day
Slovenia confirms first case of coronavirus variant identified in S. Africa
UN Security Council adopts resolution on vaccination
UK records another 8,523 coronavirus cases, 345 deaths
Kazakhstan shows interest in supplies of Belarusian sugar, its manufacturing technology
Turkey reports 9,205 new COVID-19 cases, 2,683,971 in total
Iran, Russia emphasize need to coop. in agricultural sector
When will Georgia receive its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?
House poised to approve Biden's $1.9T coronavirus relief bill in Friday vote
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Azerbaijan discloses volume of liabilities of banks in Jan. 2021 accounting for deposits
Azerbaijan imposes restrictions on import of poultry meat from Estonian county
Amount of financial support of Kazakh manufacturing sector by Baiterek holding increases
Attracting FDI can help Georgia to boost exports of high-value food products - OECD
European Council extends mandate of special representative for South Caucasus
Kuwait reports 1,022 new COVID-19 cases, 189,046 in total
WHO says COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Africa has gathered steam
Armenia has always supported terrorism - MP
EU supports JCPOA commitments
Azerbaijan focused on rehabilitation, reconstruction of liberated lands - MP
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president talks country's success in int'l information field
Baku Stock Exchange to auction off Azerbaijani Central Bank's short-term notes
Azerbaijan records growth of GDP in non-oil sector over Jan. 2021
Azerbaijan discloses volume of fruits and vegetables exported since early 2021
Azerbaijan would like to bring new ideas, proposals to region with help of OSCE - MP
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan talk opening ground checkpoints
All Armenian prisoners of war have been returned to Armenia - Azerbaijani MP
President Aliyev makes phone call to President Erdogan
Number of electronic registrations of businesses in Azerbaijan growing
All news