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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 October 2007, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
German stays on as Lib Dem leader
Mike German AM
Mike German said he has "unfinished business" to do
The Liberal Democrat leader in the Welsh assembly has announced he is to carry on in the post - but only for another year.

Mike German told the Welsh party's autumn conference in Aberystwyth he would stand down in 2008.

Mr German said he had "unanimous support" from his colleagues in the assembly to continue as their leader.

He is also to stand for the separate role of Welsh Liberal Democrat leader which MP Lembit Opik is to vacate.

"I think it would be wise to do that, to bring the leadership into the National Assembly," Mr German told BBC Wales' Politics Show.

"I think that was Lembit's view, and I agree with him, and I think the party agree with that, and so what the intention will be, will be that we will have an election, or a contest, or simply nominations for both posts and I will put my name forward for both."

There's a considerable political space for the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Mike German AM

Mr German has been under pressure since May's election and the failure of assembly government coalition talks involving the Liberal Democrats.

He has been party leader in the assembly since 1999 where he leads a group of six assembly members in Cardiff Bay.

He said he did not want to continue as their leader beyond 2008 because he would be 67, and would have to commit to a further three to four years in the job.

"I think that's time for a move on," said Mr German, although he said he did not want to go immediately.

"I think there's unfinished business, and my colleagues have agreed with this.

'Raft of things'

"We've got a campaign to build, a re-direction of the party, a sense of purpose and change internally in our party management methodologies.

"There's a whole raft of things which I'm engaged in now."

He said that his colleagues had supported him unanimously and there would not be a challenge for the leadership job.

Lib Dem party rules state that a leadership election must be held within a year of an assembly election.

Mr Opik announced his intention to step down as Welsh party leader after six years at the conference on Saturday, saying it would give him more time to continue working for his constituency.

He has also announced that he will stand for the federal presidency of the Liberal Democrats.

He told BBC Wales' Politics Show: "I think everyone knows now I'm standing for the federal presidency of the Liberal Democrats as a whole, that's a big job.

"I don't think it's fair on my constituency if I try to hold down the job of leader at the same time as running that campaign."



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