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Zambia Ruling Party Chooses Presidential Candidate


Zambia's ruling party has chosen Vice President Rupiah Banda as its candidate in the presidential election triggered by the death of Levy Mwanawasa.

Following his nomination Friday, Banda told supporters that his goals are to unite the party and the country and to continue the policies established by the late president.

The ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy chose Banda at a meeting in the capital, Lusaka. Banda has been serving as Zambia's acting president since Mr. Mwanawasa's death last month.

President Mwanawasa was laid to rest in Lusaka on Wednesday. On Thursday, Zambian state television broadcast his farewell message to the nation, recorded in 2005.

In the message, the late president said he had tried to improve Zambians' living standards, and urged future governments to continue fighting corruption.

He made no reference to who he thought should succeed him.

The late president died in a Paris hospital on August 19th, nearly two months after suffering a stroke in Egypt.

No election date has been set, but the poll must take place within 90 days of Mr. Mwanawsa's death. Vice President Banda will face a challenge from opposition leader Michael Sata.

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