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Bhutto's son, husband to be co-leaders of party

Asif Ali Zardari (with white cap), husband of assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto with their son Bilawal leave after her burial in Garhi Khuda Bukhsh near Naudero December 28, 2007. REUTERS/Zahid Hussein

NAUDERO, Pakistan (Reuters) - The 19-year-old son of assassinated Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Bilawal, was on Sunday appointed chairman of her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) along with his father, party officials said.

“It has been decided that Bilawal will be the chairman and Mr (Asif Ali) Zardari will be co-chairman,” one of the party officials said in the southern town of Naudero, where top officials of Bhutto’s party were meeting.

Asif Ali Zardari was Bhutto’s husband.

The party was also overwhelmingly in favour of taking part in a Jan. 8 general election but had yet to reach a formal decision on participation in it, said the party officials, who declined to be identified.

Former prime minister Bhutto was killed in a gun and bomb attack as she left an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Her PPP had also set up a committee to urge the United Nations to demand that the Pakistani government allow an independent inquiry into Bhutto’s killing, one of the officials said.