Official Says Pakistan Elections Will be Delayed

By: AP
By: AP

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) _ A top official in Pakistan says the country's elections are going to be delayed by a month.

A formal announcement will come Wednesday. The elections were supposed to take place a week from today, but the delay comes amid
the turmoil sparked by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Opposition parties are threatening to launch street protests unless the vote is held as scheduled on January 8th.

A senior official on the country's Election Commission tells The Associated Press that a new date has been finalized. He indicated that it won't be before the second week of February, but the official wouldn't disclose the exact date before Wednesday's announcement.

The killing of Bhutto triggered three days of riots that killed 58 people. In Bhutto's home province, 10 election offices were burned.

The election official says it will take at least a month to prepare for the elections because of the damage to those offices.

The parliamentary elections are seen as a key step toward restoring democracy in Pakistan after eight years of military rule, and after a six-week state of emergency declared by President Pervez Musharraf in November. Bhutto's party has accused Musharraf of wanting a delay so that the anger over her death can dissipate.

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