21 Jul. 2007

Howard Steps Down

Well, about bloody time:
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has announced that he will quit politics after the next election and step down as leader "within the next few weeks". Mr Howard says his decision, which follows a long string of dismal poll results, was in the best interests of his Australian Liberal party.

"I have always said that I would step down when the Party wants me to," said Howard. "Now the Cabinet remains firmly behind me, and I am grateful for that, but it is the people, in the end, the grass roots, who make up the heart and soul of the Party, whose decision must be respected. And the people have made it clear that they are ready for change."

Mr Howard would not speculate on a preferred candidate for Prime Minister, saying the issue would be resolved in a series of Cabinet meetings over the coming weeks.
I think the fact that he did not nominate Costello says it all. I guess the smart money would be on Abbott, but his "shit happens" remark last week hardly helps his cause.