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Nov 02,2007
U.S. warns Pakistan on presidential power
by UPI

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Pakistan's president to abstain from decreeing an emergency rule allowing him to preserve his authority.

Rice, in a briefing to reporters Thursday en route to Turkey, reminded Pakistan that its elections should proceed in a open and fair manner, though she hadn't spoken to Musharraf recently.

"Pakistan needs to prepare for and hold free and fair elections at the end of the year," Rice said during the briefing.

Rumors are circulating regarding an alleged draft that would impose a state of emergency delaying a Pakistani Supreme Court ruling that questions the legality of recent elections and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s ability to serve as both the head of state and the head of the military.

An unnamed Western diplomat told The New York Times “it would be just very difficult to support this government” is Musharraf declared a state of emergency.

Musharraf pledged to relinquish his military title Nov. 15 and continue as a civilian president.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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