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Constitutional Crisis, Democracy and Islam

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Chapter Summary

The fragility of the post-martial law democratic process was, however, quickly exposed when President Zia-ul-Haq, to everybody's surprise, dismissed Junejo's government on 29 May 1988 under Article 58(2)(b) of the 1973 Constitution. The second use of Article 58(2)(b) occurred when President Ghulam Ishaq dismissed Benazir Bhutto's government in August 1990. On 18 April 1993, Nawaz Sharif's government was dismissed under Article 58(2)(b). In the end, the Supreme Court refused to reinstate Benazir Bhutto's government because the facts supported the grounds given by the President to justify the dismissal. It seems that all parties had by then accepted that the President was indeed entitled to dismiss a democratically elected government in circumstances of national crisis rather than see a complete breakdown of the constitutional machinery. The legality of the coup d'état and its consequences was the subject of the case of Zafar Ali Shah v. Pervez Musharraf, Chief Executive.

Keywords: Benazir Bhutto's government; constitutional crisis; coup d'état; Junejo's government; Nawaz Sharif's government; post-martial law democratic process

10.1163/ej.9789004149274.i-250.17
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