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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Malaysia PM announces resignation date

Sun, 29 Mar 2009 05:58:26 GMT | PressTV

The Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi .
The Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi plans to meet the country's supreme ruler in order to hand in his resignation this week.

The prime minister will transfer his position and responsibilities to his deputy Najib Razak during the opening of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) party's annual assembly in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

"I wish to retire with a feeling of peace. I want to carry no negative emotions with me," Abdullah said in a speech wrapping up the party's annual congress.

"I will meet the king of Malaysia, the constitutional monarch, on April 2 to convey my intention to relinquish my responsibility as the prime minister," he added.

Local media speculates that a ceremony will be held on April 3 to hand the reins over to Razak, who is accused of being linked to a murder case.

Razak, however, rejected as "malicious baseless lies" any connection to the killing of a Mongolian woman in 2006.

Badawi, 69, has been forced to step down prematurely after criticism of his leadership. He came under strong pressure to stand down after leading the party last year to its worst ever election performance.

A loose coalition of opposition parties won 82 of 222 parliamentary seats in the election. It was only the second time in the history of the country, which gained independence from Britain in 1957, that the ruling party failed to gain the two-thirds majority.

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