'Pakistan election to be delayed by one month following Bhutto killing'

Elections in Pakistan will be delayed by one month following the turmoil sparked by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, despite opposition threats of street protests unless the crucial vote is held January 8 as originally planned, a top official said Tuesday. A senior Election Commission official told The Associated Press that it has finalized a new date. He indicated it would not be before the second week of February, but refused to disclose the exact schedule before the formal announcement Wednesday. "We need at least one month to make arrangements to hold free and fair elections after the damage caused to our offices in the Sindh province," the official said, adding that the commission had already consulted the main political parties about the delay in the polls. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose the decision.