The victor: Asif Ali Zardari, husband of Pakistan’s slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, at a January news conference in Karachi, Pakistan.
Pakistan will have a new president, Asif Ali Zardari. The widower of slain Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto has successfully continued along his wife’s path, drawing upon the support of her allies to emerge the victor by a wide margin in the election held to replace Pervez Musharraf, who stepped down as president in mid-August.
Although the winning party, the Pakistan People’s Party, declared the outcome “a victory for democracy,” the election wasn’t free of strife; as the BBC reports, “a bomb killed at least 30 people near Peshawar city” during the voting.
Many in Pakistan fear the country is facing a return to an old-style politics of confrontation at a time when urgent action is needed to improve the economy and deal with a raging Islamist insurgency.
[...] Mr Zardari is seen as pro-Western and supportive of Washington’s self-declared war on terror. He will have to juggle the demands of the United States, Pakistan’s powerful army, and strong anti-American sentiment in the country.
Our correspondent says Mr Musharraf tried to do that and failed. She adds that Pakistanis hope that Asif Zardari will have more success, but they see little in his past to encourage them.
The fortunes of the Bhutto-Zardari family have fluctuated dramatically.