Not in contention is Musharraf, who returned in March from four years of self-imposed exile to take part in the elections. A court banned him from taking part in politics and his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, announced a boycott.
Musharraf and his allies weren't the only ones upset with Pakistan's leadership ahead of the election. The New York Times "strongly protested" the expulsion of its Islamabad bureau chief -- an order that Declan Walsh received at 12:30 a.m. local time, at his home.
The Committee to Protect Journalists joined the Times in slamming the move, with its Asia program coordinator Bob Dietz saying "it shows just how much the authorities fear independent media coverage."