Zardari Breezes Into Pakistani Presidency

Bhutto's widower backed by Parliament, US
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 6, 2008 8:00 AM CDT
Pakistan People's Party supporters wave party flags as they celebrate results for the presidential election at the Parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan today.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – Asif Ali Zardari, widower of assassinated Benazir Bhutto, easily won Pakistan’s presidential election today in an unsurprising outcome favored by the US, the New York Times reports. Zardari, who has little governing experience, gains significant authority, including the ability to dissolve Parliament—a power he has pledged to forego. Zardari spent 11 years in jail on unproven corruption charges.

The victory promises a “new era of democratic stability,” says a top member of Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party, which also wields parliamentary power. Zardari has promised to ramp up the fight against Taliban and al-Qaeda members based in Pakistan. But not everyone cheered the win. “He has looted all the money of Pakistan. How can people like such thieves?" asks a shopkeeper.