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Lusaka –

According to Africa News Report, Zambian first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, widely tipped as a possible successor to her ailing husband, Said that she would not contest the presidency despite receiving support from several provinces.

“I have told them I am not standing …,” she told the privately-owned daily, The Post, in an exclusive interview.

 “I think I belong to the reservoir (of future leaders) and I want to be considered as such …,” she stated.  

President Levy Mwanawasa last month asked his party to begin looking for a successor to take over when he retires in 2011, though there has been speculation that he may step down early due to poor health. Four cabinet ministers had announced their intention to succeed Mwanawasa, and the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy was set to pick a presidential candidate at a national convention next year.

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