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UK's Gordon Brown to Resign as Prime Minister - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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LONDON, (AP) – In a dramatic bid to keep the Labour party in power, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday he will resign by September but first hopes to broker a pact with the third-place Liberal Democrats as part of a coalition government.

Brown said his Labour Party, which came a distant second in Thursday’s national election, would begin a leadership contest to replace him as he focused on talks aimed at breaking Britain’s election deadlock.

“As leader of my party I must accept that as a judgment on me,” Brown said, referring to Labour’s poor showing in the election.

Brown’s comments came as the Conservatives, who won the most seats in the election but not a majority, were already holding talks with the Liberal Democrats. Some lawmakers said those talks had stalled over differences on key issues, including reform of the voting system.

In a statement outside Downing Street, Brown said Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg had asked to begin formal coalition talks with the Labour Party and the two could form a center-left alliance.

Clegg had previously said Brown’s departure would likely be a condition of any deal with Labour.

“There is a progressive majority in Britain and I believe it could be in the interests of the whole country to form a progressive coalition government,” Brown said.

Brown said he hoped a new Labour leader would be appointed at the party’s annual convention in September. Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Education Secretary Ed Balls will likely be leading contenders to succeed Brown.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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