International - POSTED: 2007/10/18 09:19
Pakistan's top court rejected concerns that President Pervez Musharraf would declare martial law if it rules his controversial election victory invalid.
The Supreme Court is hearing challenges against his landslide victory in the October 6 presidential election, which was boycotted by most of the opposition.
Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup, cannot claim to have won re-election for another five-year term until the court decides. The general has not ruled out imposing martial law if the judgement goes against him.
"These threats have no value for us. This is an issue to be decided in accordance with the law and according to the merits," Javed Iqbal, the head judge hearing the challenges, told the court.
"The case will be decided in 10 to 12 days," he told the court.
The court started Wednesday hearing petitions against Musharraf's victory lodged by two candidates in the election who say Musharraf was ineligible to stand while he is still army chief.
The court had ruled earlier this month that the election could go ahead but the official result could not be announced until it resolved the challenges.
The general has vowed to step down as army chief and become a civilian ruler once his victory is declared official.