Skip to comments.Pakistan's President Hands Over Nuclear Powers
Posted on 11/28/2009 5:24:21 PM PST by edpc
ISLAMABAD (AFP) President Asif Ali Zardari gave up control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal Saturday in a bid to fend off mounting pressures threatening to weaken his rule further and complicate the war on the Taliban.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
This is not good.
Does anyone know any details about Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister who now has the nuclear key? The article mentioned that he is close to the military.
So, we have to wait until December to know the results of this episode of “as the moozie turns”.
"According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a five-year term. The electoral college comprises the Senate, National Assembly, and the provincial assemblies." (link)
Compare to the Prime Minister:
"The Prime Minister is elected by the National Assembly, members of which are elected by popular vote. Most commonly, the leader of the party or coalition with the most votes becomes the Prime Minister." (link)
This means that the Prime Minister is elected indirectly, through the party that won the majority or formed a coalition. That's how back-room deals are made. With enough goods (or threats) on members of National Assembly anyone can be selected to become the Prime Minister overnight. The Assembly has 342 seats, but you only need to lean onto just a few lawmakers to make a difference - in the USA we know how that works.
Zardari took over the presidency promising to return the presidency to its prior status and allow the prime minister and parliament to rule Pakistan by the old plurality system overseen by the supreme court.
This move of handing over the nuclear keys to a more secure civilian command continues that process. Eventually, the presidency will be of little use to military strongmen and their coup d'etat urges. Also, the parliament will then be the primary forum for political debate, lessening the criticism and distrust of the military.
The PM is in a more politically secure position (i.e. not worried so much about losing his power) because people don’t hate him like they do Zardari, a.k.a. Mr. 10% (his approval rating at one time—he should compare notes with Congress). However, the PM is elected by popular vote, and given the sympathetic nature of many Pakistanis to the Taliban that opens up the possibility of someone less than ideal getting into office (well, no one’s ideal in Pakistan but you get the picture ;) ). On the other hand, the president is short on power because it’s the army and the ISI that really call the shots. So moving the nuke keys from one politically weak civilian leader to another doesn’t seem like a drastic change to me.
However, there’s been a decline in popular opinion of the Taliban lately as people started to get tired of stuff blowing up in Waziristan every few days, and if that continues the danger of electing a total whacko as PM would decrease.
Interestingly enough, lots of Pakistanis are already calling for the return of Musharraf, or at least a military dictatorship, because they’re tired of Zardari’s corruption. A military dictator with the nuclear keys would be the best option because he is able to keep a tighter hold on the country.