Monday, 31 December 2007
Three days after his mother's assasination, 19-year-old Bilawal Bhutto, finds himself inheriting not just one of the most celebrated names in politics, but a history steeped in power and bloodshed.
He has been chosen as the chairman of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) while his father, Asif Ali Zardari, will serve as co-chairman.
The appointment means the party leadership follows the Bhutto bloodline for a third generation, some four decades after it was founded by Bilawal's grandfather and former prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
The decisions were made at a closed-door meeting of the party's central executive committee.
The PPP also decided to contest in the upcoming elections, apparently ending the threat of a wholesale boycott by Pakistan's political opposition.
"The party's long struggle for democracy will continue with renewed vigour," Bilawal told a news conference.
"My mother always said democracy is the best revenge," he said.
While friends of the slain former Prime Minister say she always envisaged Bilawal becoming her political heir, they agree that she would not have wanted him to have to bear that burden so young.
At 19, Bilawal is still some way from completing his education.
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