Alberta’s prime minister has resigned after a poor showing in the party

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CALGARY, Alberta – The premier of the oil-rich province of Alberta announced Wednesday that he is stepping down after winning a leadership review from his team members.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the 51.4% support he received was not enough to remain head of provincial government or leader of the ruling United Conservative Party.

“The result is not what I expected or what I expected,” he said, expressing surprise at the hundreds of supporters at an invitation-only event in Calgary. “While 51% of the vote goes beyond the constitutional threshold of a majority, this is clearly not enough support to continue as a leader.”

Kenny said he had asked the party to speed up a vote to elect a new leader, who would be Alberta’s prime minister, since the United Conservatives have a majority in the state legislature. He will remain the leader of the party until an interim leader is elected.

Alberta’s legislature is due to convene in late May.

Kenny said the anger among party members and legislators over his decision to restrict personal freedom during the Covid-19 epidemic led to open criticism of his leadership and an overwhelming vote of support in the final review.

“It is clear that the last two years have been deeply divisive for our province, our party and our caucus, but it is my sincere hope that in the months ahead we will all move beyond the division of Covid,” he said.

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