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Monday, July 25, 2005

Plaid's leadership crisis continues

Dafydd Iwan continued with his sure-footed leadership of Plaid Cymru today by provoking a major row within Plaid Cymru. The Western Mail reports that the Assembly Presiding Officer was said to be furious after Mr. Iwan wrote to him suggesting he should opt to be Plaid's candidate in the new seat of Aberconwy.

Plaid faces a serious dilemma in North-West Wales, the only part of the country where major boundary changes come into effect in time for the Assembly elections in 2007. The party currently holds the seats of Caernarfon and Meirionnydd at both Westminster and Cardiff Bay. In 1999 it won the neighbouring AM seat of Conwy, but lost it by 72 votes to Labour in 2003.

All three seats are now to be dismembered after the acceptance of recommendations made by the Boundary Commission. New constituencies called Arfon, Dwyfor and Aberconwy will take their place.

Dafydd Elis-Thomas is naturally eyeing up the safe seat of Dwyfor and will no doubt be canvassing the membership vigorously to support him in this ambition. He might view the Party President's intervention as seeking to circumvent that process. Dafydd Iwan's brother, Alun Ffred Jones could be one of the Presiding Officer's rivals for the Dwyfor seat. Either way it does not look good for the Party of Wales though I thought this photographic parody was a bit cruel.
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