HARARE, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa will on Friday preside over the ruling Zanu-PF extra-ordinary congress where he is due to be endorsed as the party's presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.
Mnangagwa, who was installed as the country's second executive president following the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe in November, will have less than a year in office before seeking to win the elections due around August 2018.
About 6,000 delegates are expected to attend the Harare congress where business will be confined to confirming Mnangagwa as the party's first secretary and president, endorsing him as the party's presidential candidate and endorsing Central Committee resolutions that were passed in November.
Since he was sworn into office on Nov. 24, Mnangagwa has appointed a new cabinet that excludes members of a faction allegedly led by former First Lady Grace Mugabe and breathed back life into members who had been expelled from the party for supporting him.
According to party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo, Mnangagwa may choose to appoint his two vice presidents and national chairpersons during the congress, but he was not obliged to do so.
Mnangagwa had until early November been one of two vice presidents in Mugabe's government and in Zanu-PF but was fired as Mugabe accused him of disloyalty and factionalism.
The dismissal prompted the military to stage what has been described by many as a "soft coup" that led to Mugabe's resignation.
Within the ruling party, Mugabe was relieved of his position while several other top officials, including his wife, were expelled.