The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has named Benazir Bhutto's son Bilawal, an Oxford University student, as its chairman.
Asif Zardari Benazir’s husband will act as co-chairman. PPP vice president Makhdoom Amin Fahim and the party's Punjab province president Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi will serve on an 'advisory council' for the new leader.
This decision is fraught with difficulties. Bilawal is only 19 years old and lacks maturity and political experience for such an onerous task. To all intents and purposes it appears that Zardari is the new de facto leader until such time as Bilawal is groomed to assume the leadership. Zardari has numerous critics in Pakistan. He is unpopular amongst large sections of the electorate and probably lacks the magnetism necessary to woo sceptical voters. Can he work with the advisory council? It is doubtful if the party can remain united in the long term.
51 years old Sanam (Benazir’s) sister is popular amongst PPP members but is unwilling to take over the leadership. She is probably best equipped to maintain party unity.