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Musharraf Sets Election Day

Pakistan President Pervevz Musharraf said Sunday that parliamentary elections will be held by January, but his emergency degree will last until then.

According to the NY Times, Musharraf made the announcement at his first press conference Sunday since he declared emergency powers eight days ago. However, Musharraf refused to give a date when the emergency state would end. They also report that many opposition powers and Western Diplomats dismissed Musharraf's announcement. They wonder how fair elections could take place under a "state of emergency." The report also got one diplomat to speak under anonymity saying, "He’s looking to see whether simply announcing an election date will placate people.?

The Washington Post reports that Musharraf said at his news conference that he put the state of emergency in place to "to save the democratic process" from conflict between the branches of government and to help fight Islamic extremists. They also report that Musharraf has added new military powers which permit the civilians to be court-marshaled for crimes ranging from treason to "giving statements conducive to public mischief."