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NAUDERO, Pakistan - Benazir Bhutto's 19-year-old son was chosen Sunday to succeed her as chairman of her opposition party, extending Pakistan's most famous political dynasty but leaving the real power to her husband, who will serve as co-chairman.
Her son, Bilawal Zardari, a student with no experience in politics, said he would remain at Oxford University, leaving his father, Asif Ali Zardari, who was officially designated co-chairman, as the effective leader of the country's largest political party.
Zardari, who spent eight years under detention on corruption charges in Pakistan before his release in late 2004, is a party powerbroker who served as environment minister in Bhutto's second government. He has denied the charges of large-scale graft during his wife's rule.
The Pakistan People’s Party on Sunday resolved the potentially explosive succession issue by choosing two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s son Bilawal and allowing her husband Asif Ali Zardari to wield the real power as the teenager’s regent.
The widower of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been elected president of Pakistan, officials have said.
Partial results after separate votes in the federal and provincial assemblies showed that Asif Ali Zardari won an overwhelming majority of the votes.
Mr Zardari, 53, was known as a polo-playing playboy in his younger days. He spent 11 years in jail on corruption and other charges stemming from his time in government when his wife was prime minister in the 1990s. But he was never convicted and said the charges were politically motivated.