PAIGC chooses new chairman, expels Vieira

Guinea-Bissau's main political party, the PAIGC, elected lawyer Francisco Benante as its new chairman on Thursday, the last day of its congress in Bissau, news reports said.

Benante, 45, headed the reform wing within the Partido Africano da Independencia da Guine e Capo Verde (PAIGC), AFP said, and is the only civilian in the self-styled Military Junta that overthrew President Joao Bernardo Vieira this year.

The congress also expelled Vieira from the party for "treasonable
offences, support and incitement to warfare, and practices incompatible with the statutes of the party", AFP said. He was party chairman. Also sacked on similar grounds is former prime minister Carlos Correia and five other members of the ousted government.