Pakistani officials rejected former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s bid to contest a parliamentary seat in the country’s north at the May 11 election, a move that may thwart his attempted political comeback.
A tribunal reversed an earlier decision that had allowed Musharraf to stand in Chitral, his party’s spokeswoman Aasia Ishaque said by phone from Islamabad. The ex-general’s applications to fight from three other constituencies had already been turned down over his illegal declaration of emergency powers in 2007 while he was the country’s president.
“The party will appeal against the decisions in the Supreme Court after April 19,” Ishaque said, referring to the date on which the Election Commission is due to issue a final list of approved candidates.
The rejection of Musharraf’s nomination came as opponents are seeking to put him on trial for treason in the top court over his suspension of the constitution. Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was deposed and kept under house arrest by Musharraf. A Supreme Court bench is considering a set of petitions against the former general and the next hearing is scheduled for April 17.
Musharraf is trying to return to politics nearly five years after he quit the president’s office as Pakistan’s parliament threatened to bring impeachment charges against him, citing the seizure of power and alleged economic mismanagement.
Musharraf ousted the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a 1999 bloodless coup after a dispute over support for Pakistan-backed militants occupying Indian-controlled territory in the Kargil region of Kashmir.
Asif Ali Zardari, who succeeded Musharraf as president, last month led the first civilian administration in the nation’s history to complete its full term and prepare to hand over power to another elected government through a poll.
After stepping down as president in 2008, Musharraf went into a self-exposed exile and returned last month vowing to contest the election as head of his All Pakistan Muslim League party. His party aims to field 125 candidates, according to spokeswoman Ishaque.