Bhutto's undemocratic succession
Benazir Bhutto's 19-year-old son will succeed her as chairman of the Pakistan People's Party, officials announced Sunday.This story reflects much of what is wrong with the Pakistani culture. Normally political power is not passed by the will of the deceased. It is done by constitution or by vote for a successor. While Butto's 19 year old son may be a bright guy, he is not even old enough to serve in the Pakistani legislature which has a minimum age of 25. His father did not take the job because of the widespread reputation he had as a crook who took 10 percent off the top of most contracts when his wife was in power.
"I'm thankful for the CEC (Central Election Commission) for imposing their trust in me as chairman of the Pakistan's People's Party," Bilawal Zardari said at a news conference, speaking in English.
"Like all chairmen of the PPP, I will stand as the symbol of the federation. The party's long and historic struggle for democracy will continue with renewed vigor, and I stand committed to the stability of the federation.
"My mother always said democracy is the best revenge."
Bhutto had named her husband Asif Ali Zardari to head the Pakistan People's Party in her will, which was read on Sunday, but he handed over the position to the couple's son, PPP official Makhdoom Amin Faheem said.
The party accepted that decision in a meeting following the reading of the will.
Party officials told CNN that the younger Zardari will take over as chairman once he completes his studies. Until then, senior party advisers will lead the PPP.
Ali Zardari announced that the party will participate in the upcoming parliamentary election which is scheduled for January 8 but could be postponed in the wake of Bhutto's assassination.
He also said the party is asking the United Nations to investigate the circumstances of Bhutto's December 27 killing.
Controversy has been growing about the circumstances of Bhutto's death. The government insists she died after hitting her head on a sunroof lever, while a top aide said she suffered bullet wounds to her head. Read more about the aide's comments to CNN
Across her home province of Sindh, protesters outraged at Bhutto's killing have burned election offices, where voter rolls and ballot boxes are kept, potentially derailing preparations for the vote, according to media reports.
Then there is the emotionally immature reaction of her followers who are having a public tantrum destroying voter rolls and ballot boxes. That is not a mature reaction to tragedy. Unfortunately, emotional immaturity tends to be a product of the Muslim faith for too many. A mature reaction would be to respond to the grief with renewed determination to see Bhutto's supporters succeed and overcome the wishes of her murderers. Instead many are engaged in creating the chaos that al Qaeda desired.