13 December 2007

Democracy in Pakistan?

Most Want Musharraf to Quit, Poll Shows

The first comprehensive public opinion poll conducted in Pakistan since President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency last month has found that 67 percent of Pakistanis want him to resign immediately and that 70 percent say his government does not deserve re-election.

The poll suggests that Mr. Musharraf will have to engage in substantial vote rigging to have the government of his choice win national elections on Jan. 8.

This is going to be an interesting couple of weeks in Pakistan. This will be a real test of Musharraf's declared aim of a real democracy.

An American-backed proposal that Mr. Musharraf form a government with Ms. Bhutto also appears to be deeply unpopular. Sixty percent of Pakistanis polled opposed such a deal, which American officials had hoped would bolster support for Mr. Musharraf.

What I'm wondering about is how much of this has anything to do with the fact that Musharraf is supported by the US? How much of this is an anti-American thing, how much is pro-democracy, how much of this is a combination of the two?

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