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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Ieuan and Iwan for Plaid
Dafydd Iwan and Ieuan Wyn Jones
New team: president Dafydd Iwan and leader Ieuan Wyn Jones
Ieuan Wyn Jones has pulled off a remarkable comeback by becoming the party's leader in the Welsh assembly, while folk singer Dafydd Iwan has been elected president.

Party vice-president Mr Iwan beat Cynog Dafis for the presidency by 855 votes. Mr Iwan polled 2,980 votes to Mr Dafis' 2,125.

He will work with Mr Jones, who has made a dramatic return only four months after resigning the presidency following Plaid's poor performance in the assembly election.

Mr Jones used to perform the role of both president and group leader, but the role was split after he stepped down.

Mr Jones, the assembly member for Ynys Mon, narrowly beat Helen Mary Jones by 71 votes.

He won 2,603 votes, against Helen Mary Jones' 2,532.

Mid and West Wales AM Helen Mary Jones
Helen Mary Jones lost by 71 votes

A third candidate, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas, polled 1,014 in the first round of votes, which were then transferred to the other candidates on the basis of the voters' second preferences.

The search for candidates to fill the top jobs in Plaid Cymru began when Ieuan Wyn Jones stepped down in May.

Plaid had been reduced from 17 to 12 seats in the assembly, and Mr Jones quit because he said he could not continue without the support of the majority of his AMs.

After the result Mr Jones called on his party to unite.

He said Plaid must be at the forefront of the campaign to turn the assembly into a powerful parliament with greater powers.

He added: "The party must work together from top to bottom - the assembly group, at Westminster, in Europe and in local government, as a united party pulling together."

He congratulated Mr Iwan on his election as party president. "This is a very important stage in the development of Plaid Cymru, we now have two new leaders," he said.

Cynog Dafis and Dafydd Iwan
Cynog Dafis, left, lost to Dafydd Iwan, right

Mr Iwan said it was an "honour and a privilege" to lead the party of Welsh freedom.

He said he looked forward to the job with immense enjoyment.

He said: "Wherever you live in Wales and wherever you come from, you are a part of this country.

"This party of Wales is your party and the party of everyone who has chosen Wales to have their home."

Ieuan Wyn Jones decided to stand for the leadership of the party in the assembly because none of the 12 AMs stood for the presidency.

According to the party's constitution, there can only be a separate leader in the assembly if the party president comes from outside the assembly.

Folk singer clinches presidency
15 Sep 03  |  Wales
Jones the comeback kid
15 Sep 03  |  Wales

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