Bhutto Uncle Opposes Role for Widower

Patriarch blasts Zardari as incompetent, wants 'a real Bhutto' to lead
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2008 8:30 AM CST
Pakistani children participate in a candle lit ceremony in memory of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008 in Lahore, Pakistan. Pakistan's election commission said Tuesday that...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Benazir Bhutto's designation of her widower as interim leader of the Pakistan People's Party has inflamed family and tribal tensions, and renewed past disagreements over her leadership. Patriarch Mumtaz Bhutto, Benazir's 74-year-old uncle, blasted Asif Ali Zardari for having "no political background or acumen" and predicted his leadership would result in the party's "total disintegration," according to McClatchy newspapers.

The Bhuttos "have made big sacrifices. The Zardaris have just profited from it," said Mumtaz Bhutto, a founding party member who thinks leadership should have gone to one of Benazir's nieces or nephews. One concern is ethnic: while the Bhuttos are Sindhi, Zardari is from the Baluch ethnic group. So far, however, the majority of the Bhutto clan has cautiously approved Zardari's leadership.