US Democrats set early presidential convention date

Supporters cheer US President Barack Obama after he accepted the Democratic National Convention's nomination to run for a second term as president in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 6, 2012 (AFP Photo/Stan Honda) (AFP/File)

Washington (AFP) - US Democrats will convene the week of July 25, 2016 for their national convention to nominate the person they hope will succeed Barack Obama as president, a party leader said Friday.

The decision moves the convention about six weeks earlier than the 2012 gathering which took place in early September.

"This is the next step to finalize where and when we will nominate the 45th president of the United States, highlight the Democratic Party's agenda of fighting for expanded opportunity and contrast it with the Republican Party's commitment to the fortunate few," said representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the Democratic National Committee.

Democrats have yet to choose a host city. They are deciding between New York, Philadelphia, and Columbus, Ohio.

The convention date is the earliest in the presidential cycle for Democrats since 1992.

The move aligns with the Republicans' decision announced last week to hold their convention a full month earlier than they did in 2012.

Republicans will hold their 2016 national convention beginning July 18, one week ahead of the Democrats.

The Republican convention was criticized last year over a divisive drawn-out primary process. Democrats did not have that problem as they were focused on the re-election of a sitting president.