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London Mayor Election Set for 2000

December 14, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ Londoners must wait until 2000 to cast their ballots for their first directly elected mayor, the government said Monday.

The city of London has no central authority and its 32 sprawling boroughs are run by local councils. There is a Lord Mayor of London, but it is a ceremonial job.

The Greater London Authority, overseen by the mayor, would control a budget worth several billion dollars, have strategic power over transport and economic development and oversee a revamped Metropolitan Police Authority.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott set the election of a mayor and a 25-member Assembly for May 4, 2000.

``Londoners want a world-class government for a world-class city,″ Prescott said, noting that London is the only world capital without a citywide administration.

Among those expected to run for mayor are Ken Livingstone, a left-wing Labor Party legislator, and best-selling novelist Jeffrey Archer, who is seeking the Conservative Party nomination.