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1 Jan, 2008 06:27

Pakistan election to be postponed

Pakistan’s Election Commission is to postpone the January 8 parliamentary vote, following the widespread violence following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. In the meantime Bhutto's People's Party has appointed her son and her husband to lead it in th

The country's Election Commission says it appears impossible to hold the country's parliamentary vote on January 8 as planned. Doubts were cast on the timing of the vote as the murder of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto caused widespread violence across the country.

The country's ruling party, which backs Pakistani President Musharraf, says the poll is likely to be postponed by up to three months.

The commission will consult political parties before deciding on a final date for the election. The final decision will be made on Wednesday.

Son to follow in mother's footsteps

Bhutto's supporters have appointed her 19-year-old son Bilawal, a law student at Oxford University, as the chairman of Pakistan's People's Party. Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardar, will be co-chairman.  Zardari says the party will take part in January's parliamentary election.

Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed on Thursday in a suicide attack after a rally in the city of Rawalpindi.

A dispute has erupted over how she was killed. Her supporters say she died from bullet wounds, but government officials insist she was killed after hitting her head on the roof of the car she was in when a suicide bomb exploded.

The Pakistani authorities say Bhutto's body could be exhumed for further investigation.

The assassination has sparked waves of violence across the country in which at least 59 people have died.

To read the background of the story, follow the link.