Bhutto's Party Nominates New Prime Minister

Ex-speaker once went to jail to avoid cutting deal with Musharraf
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2008 3:22 PM CDT
Yusuf Raza Gillani and late PPP leader Benazir Bhutto wave to the crowd in this October 18, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
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(Newser) – The party of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto named Yusuf Raza Gillani as its pick for prime minister of Pakistan today, the BBC reports. He is virtually guaranteed to be voted in Tuesday but won’t be PM for long, analysts say. The ex-speaker is expected to step down as soon as Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto's widower, is eligible for the job.

Bhutto’s son was expected to announce the nominee, but the party said its teenage heir-apparent felt ill today—leading some to speculate about political wrangling within the party. Gillani gets the nod over Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who some feared was too close to President Musharraf. Gillani has no such problem: He once went to jail rather than strike a deal with Musharraf.