ZAMBIA’S PRESIDENT WILL RUN IN 2011


Rupiah Banda will seek re-election in 2011, renewing his fierce rivalry with main opposition leader Michael Sata who narrowly lost a disputed vote last year.

Banda, who had indicated in 2008 that his mission was only to complete economic programmes started by his predecessor Levy Mwanawasa in Africa’s biggest copper producer, said he would heed calls by ruling party supporters urging him to contest the 2011 vote.

Banda’s announcement came a week after Sata announced he would challenge for the presidency in 2011. Both will be 74 at the time of the 2011 election.

“I am not blind to your message that you will support me in 2010 at the (party) convention and my adoption as presidential candidate in 2011,” Banda told ruling party supporters and journalists late on Tuesday in Livingstone, 500 km (310 miles) south of the capital.

“If I am well and healthy, and if you feel I merit your adoption, I will be ready to be adopted,” Banda said.

It was the first time that Banda had publicly stated his intention to stand again for president.

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