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The son of a former Prince Edward Island premier has won the leadership of the party his father led to power.

Robert Ghiz, son of the late premier Joe Ghiz, was voted in as leader of the province's Opposition Liberals during a party convention held on Saturday.

The 29-year-old defeated his sole opponent, former Liberal cabinet minister Alan Buchanan, by 161 votes on the first ballot. Mr. Ghiz received 2,065 of the 3,979 votes cast, while Mr. Buchanan won 1,904.

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Mr. Buchanan served under Mr. Ghiz's father and also worked briefly under former Liberal premier Catherine Callbeck.

Joe Ghiz led the Liberals to power, serving as premier from 1986 to 1992. He died in 1996 at age 51 after a battle with colon cancer.

Robert Ghiz has been involved with the national Liberal party for years. His most recent position was as Atlantic adviser to the Prime Minister's Office, based in Charlottetown.

The Island Liberal leadership has been open since 2000, after former leader Wayne Carew hastily departed following a humiliating election outcome.

Ron MacKinley later took over as interim leader. At the moment, the Liberals have only one seat in the Tory-dominated legislature.

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