‘Musharraf may no more remain President by end of 2008′

January 1st, 2008 - 2:57 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
London, Jan 1 (ANI): The turmoil in Pakistan following the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto may lead to increased instability in the country, and chances are high that President Pervez Musharraf maynot remain in office by the end of 2008, the Financial Times predicts.
“The President’s (Musharraf’s) position is probably now more insecure. Whatever the real truth, Mr Musharraf’s supporters in the US and in the Pakistani military may conclude that he is too tainted and divisive a figure to merit further support. A period of increased instability is now inevitable. There is a better than even chance that Mr Musharraf will not be President by the end of the year,” the daily writes in a column, while looking ahead on future events.
Regarding the 2008 US Presidential elections, it predicts that the country will have a woman occupying the White House in the form of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“Barring a remarkable upset, the Democratic nominee will win the election, so great is the unpopularity of this administration - and Mrs Clinton will be the nominee,” the daily states.
It says that in spite of Barack Obama’s surge in Iowa and New Hampshire, and signs of Clinton fatigue, her grip on the nomination is tighter than Obama’s.
“Mrs Clinton will not give up if she loses the first two votes: her drive and ambition forbid it. Her lead among Democrats is big and well-entrenched,” it added.
On the days ahead for Russia, the daily states that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already chosen Dmitry Medvedev, his close associate and deputy prime minister, as his candidate for the March presidential election.
“Mr Medvedev will win by a mile. He will then make Mr Putin his Prime Minister. At this point, Parliament, dominated by Mr Putin’s United Russia party, may well vote to change the constitution to transfer power from the president to the prime minister. But even if it does not, real power will remain in Mr Putin’s hands as he is the focus of almost all his administration’s public popularity,” it predicts.
However, according to the predictions made in the daily Putin is not in a position to become a dictator.
“Power is divided among competing groups of senior Kremlin officials, who owe their allegiance to the president but not their absolute loyalty,” it adds.
The daily predicts that Iran would not get the nuclear bomb this year and that for most practical purposes Iraq has already disintegrated.
“There will be real progress on climate change in 2008, but it will often feel as if the world is taking a few steps back for every stride forward,” the daily says.
“That will be the pattern of negotiations this year, as officials fill in the details of the Bali ‘roadmap’. Progress will be accompanied by recriminations, from the US and the European Union, and from developing countries fearful of being landed with a bill for rich countries’ emissions,” it adds.
The daily also predicts that the global crude oil price will breach the 100 dollars per barrel mark and the US economy will skate along the brink of recession in early 2008, but will avoid tipping over the brink.
The daily predicts that the Beijing Olympics could be the best ever, given China’s vast investment of political and fiscal capital, popular enthusiasm and seven million cheap tickets, making it the best-attended Games ever. (ANI)

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