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Bhutto's Party Chooses Her Son, Husband as New Party Leaders

  • VOA News

The son of assassinated Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been chosen to succeed her as head of her opposition party.

The Pakistan People's Party appointed 19-year old Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as its new chairman on Sunday). It also named Ms. Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, as co-chairman to run the party while Bilawal completes his university education in Britain.

The PPP also announced it will participate in parliamentary elections scheduled for January eighth, prompting the party of another prominent opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, to do the same. Mr. Sharif's party had previously threatened to boycott the polls.

A senior PPP official ,Senator Safdar Abbasi says the party will not accept any delays in holding the elections. Earlier in the day, a ruling party official said the vote could be delayed by up to 12 weeks.

Pakistan's Election Commission is due to announce Monday when the elections will take place.
Ms. Bhutto's assassination on Thursday triggered deadly riots but the violence appeared to ease today -- the last of three days of national mourning. Some food markets and other businesses reopened in Karachi and more were expected to do the same Monday.

Pakistan's railway minister Tariq Mansoor told the French News Agency that train services from Karachi to northern cities such as Islamabad and Lahore will resume Monday evening.

After a PPP meeting today in the southern Pakistani town of Naudero, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari vowed to avenge his mother's killing by continuing her struggle for democracy. His father called for a United Nations investigation of the assassination.

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