Malaysian prime minister to step down

March 28, 2009 at 12:11 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, March 28 (UPI) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says he is planning to resign and hand over power to the country's deputy prime minister.

Abdullah said Saturday he will seek an audience with Malaysia's king, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, on Thursday and resign in favor of Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, the Malaysian news agency Bernama reported.

Speaking at the general assembly of the Umno political party in Kuala Lampur, Abdullah said, "After I obtain His Majesty's consent, the date for the official handing over of power would be set. I am hereby handing over the Umno leadership to the new president, Datuk Seri Najib, and may Umno is blessed under his leadership."

Abdullah has been Malaysian prime minister since 2003. Najib, 55, won the Umno presidency unopposed and took over the post from Abdullah, who had held the party presidency since October 2004, Bernama reported.

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