Chretien to resign

11.18.03

This time he’s really leaving… finally!

Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced he will leave office on December 12, allowing prime minister-designate Paul Martin to ascend to the office.

“We have agreed the 12th of December will be the date when … the new government will be sworn in.

“On the 12th, he (Martin) will be the prime minister,” Chretien said in a jam-packed press conference.

Paul Martin, 65, was elected late Friday by nearly 94 percent of Liberal Party delegates to be the party’s leader, who automatically becomes the next prime minister.

Chretien, 69, initially said he would retire in February 2004, but when the party’s organizing committee — which was packed with Martin supporters — decided to hold the leadership convention in November it created an usual period in which one leader was elected while another had not yet left office.

Finally, the period in which we have one lame duck Prime Minister and one PM-in-waiting will be over. And not a moment too soon.

Does anyone else suspect that, if not for the personal feud between Chretien and Martin, this would have happened a long time ago?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dr_Funk 11.18.03 at 11:01 PM

I am glad that Chretien is leaving sooner rather than later. The whole idea of having a Liberal leader who wasn’t Prime Minister, when the Liberals have the largest number of seats in the Commons struck me as unconstitutional. The leader of the largest party in the Commons is, de jure, the Prime Minister of Canada. Having someone be PM who wasn’t the leader anymore doesn’t seem right.

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2 Eric 11.20.03 at 6:31 AM

> Does anyone else suspect that, if not for
> the personal feud between Chretien and
> Martin, this would have happened a long
> time ago?

On the other hand, had Martin not been pushing to remove him, maybe Chretien would be planning his fourth federal election campaign and ensuing term as PM around now…

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