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Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 18:34 UK

Zambian VP to lead ruling party

Zambia's late President, Levy Mwanawasa. Photo: April 2008
Levy Mwanawasa had been in poor health for several years

Zambia's ruling party has chosen the current Vice-President, Rupiah Banda, as its candidate to succeed President Levy Mwanawasa, who died last month.

Mr Banda, a former foreign minister, will stand as the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) candidate in an election due before December.

He is likely to face a strong challenge from opposition leader Michael Sata, who narrowly lost the election in 2006.

Mr Mwanawasa died in France, having suffered a stroke in June.

Under the constitution, elections must be held within 90 days of the president's death.

The process of choosing a successor to Mr Mwanawasa had created deep divisions in the MMD.

The BBC's Musonda Chibamba says Mr Banda only joined the MMD a few years ago.

He was a member of the United National Independence Party, founded by Zambia's first leader Kenneth Kaunda.

He is seen as an experienced politician, having served under Mr Kaunda.




SEE ALSO
Levy Mwanawasa buried in Zambia
03 Sep 08 |  Africa
Mwanawasa's body back in Zambia
23 Aug 08 |  Africa
Zambia league mourns President
20 Aug 08 |  African
Zambia leader undergoes surgery
08 Jul 08 |  Africa


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