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Bhutto's party begins meeting to choose new leader as election delay seen likely

Bhutto's party begins meeting to choose new leader as election delay seen likely

Supporters of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto met Sunday to decide on her successor, with either her son or husband seen as favorites, while the country's ruling party said crucial Jan. 8 elections would likely be delayed up to four months.
Bhutto's assassination last Thursday plunged the nuclear-armed country into a political crisis and triggered nationwide riots ahead of the parliamentary polls, seen by the United States and other Western nations as key to promoting stability in the country.
Tariq Azim, information secretary of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, said the vote would lose credibility if it was held now, with Bhutto's party in mourning and other opposition groups intent on boycotting. He expected authorities to announce a delay within 24 hours.
"How long the postponement will be for will up to the Election Commission," he told The Associated Press. "I think we are looking at a delay of a few weeks ... of up to three or four months."
Leaders of her Pakistan People's Party, meanwhile, were meeting Sunday in her ancestral home of Naudero in southern Pakistan to decide on a successor as party chief and its plans for the election. The party has yet to say whether it would boycott the vote if goes ahead as planned.


Updated : 2021-01-16 10:35 GMT+08:00