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BBC Wales's Rhun ap Iorwerth reports
"There have been calls for the immediate splitting of the two leadership roles"
 real 28k

Saturday, 10 June, 2000, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Party rejects leadership role split
Plaid Cymru conference
Plaid will review its constitution before reaching a decision
Plaid Cymru's national executive has decided the dual role of party president and leader of the party group in the assembly should not be split up.

The party was left with a decision to make following the resignation of president Dafydd Wigley.

The national executive met in Aberystwyth on Saturday and members concluded that any decision should be delayed until a wide ranging review of the party's constitution is completed.

The recommendation could be approved by the party's national council next month.

In that instance, one of the two AMs - Ieuan Wyn Jones and Helen Mary Jones - currently battling for the presidency would automatically become leader of the group in the assembly if successful.


Dafydd Wigley AM
Dafydd Wigley: Stepping down

However, on Monday a senior party figure from outside the assembly MEP Jill Evans is expected to enter the race.

Marc Phillips, chairman of Plaid Cymru, said a full consultation process on leadership roles is taking place but added that it was premature to take any decision at the present time.

Some members argue the combined role is too much of a burden for one person to carry.

But a full-scale review of the party's constitution was underway before Mr Wigley's decision to stand down, and is due to be completed by November.


Jill Evans
Jill Evans - still undecided over future

Launching her campaign last week, Helen Mary Jones said her priorities would be social justice, promoting equality, fighting poverty and building communities.

She will be publishing a manifesto within the next two weeks.

Ms Jones is considered an outsider for the post of the party's president, at odds of 3-1.

AM and MP for Ynys Mon, Ieuan Wyn Jones, is 1-3 favourite to win the leadership race.

MEP Jill Evans is also being suggested as another possible successor to Mr Wigley, with Welsh bookmakers Jack Brown cutting her odds from 25-1 to 6-1.

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31 May 00 | Wales
A passion for politics
31 May 00 | Wales
Plaid Cymru leader steps down
16 Apr 00 | Wales
MP backs Plaid power call
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