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President Chiluba
"I am not going to stand for the next election"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Chiluba to bow out gracefully
Lusaka demonstration on 21 April
MMD supporters were split by Chiluba's moves for a third term
Zambian President Frederick Chiluba has affirmed that he will not stand in the next presidential elections in his country.

In a BBC interview, Mr Chiluba said it would be unjustified and unprincipled for him to do so after saying he would not stand.

"I am not going to stand for the next presidential election."

Mr Chiluba's party was thrown into crisis by opposition to his bid to stand for an unconstitutional third-term, with several prominent ministers expelled from the party and sacked from the government.

Mr Chiluba said he would remain leader of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy and play a key role in the search for a new candidate to lead the party to elections later this year.

However, he refused to name his favourite to succeed him.

'No interference'

He also pledged not to interfere with his successor and only to remain as party president for a short transition period.

"No interference, no holding on to power, it is just a facilitation to see transition taking place."

When asked on his thoughts towards those now expelled from the party, he said: "You feel sad that you started together and you reach a point that you begin to call each other ugly names."

"It was a necessary purge, but it is a sad one"

But he offered no encouragement that ousted senior colleagues would be welcomed back into the fold, even though he admitted that the party could be weaker as a result.

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See also:

30 Apr 01 | Africa
Chiluba's next moves
21 Apr 01 | Africa
Ministers tell Chiluba: Time's up
17 Aug 00 | Africa
Zambia's stylish president
31 Jul 00 | Africa
Zambia: Eyes on the prize
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Zambia
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