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Malaysia leader poised to resign

  • Story Highlights
  • Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi plans to hand over to deputy PM
  • An official date for the handover will be set after top leader gives consent
  • Abdullah plans to meet with the supreme leader on Thursday
  • Abdullah has held the post since 2003
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(CNN) -- Malaysia's prime minister wants to step down and has scheduled a meeting with the supreme ruler of the country to hand in his letter of resignation, Malaysia's national news agency reported Saturday.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi plans the meeting for Thursday, the Bernama news agency reported.

Abdullah plans to hand over the reigns to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak after he receives the consent of the supreme leader, the agency reported. An official date for the change in leadership will be set after the consent has been given.

Abdullah is part of Malaysia's ruling party, the National Front coalition, and he has held the position since 2003.

His decision to step down comes about one year after a loose coalition of opposition parties won 82 of 222 parliamentary seats in elections. It was only the second time in the history of the country -- which gained independence from Britain in 1957 -- that the ruling party failed to gain the two-thirds majority needed to amend Malaysia's constitution.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad ruled the Southeast Asian country -- which is a constitutional monarchy -- from 1981 until 2003.

All About MalaysiaNajib Tun Razak

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