October 20, 2008

Dion Giving Up Liberal Party Post

Canadians Liberal Party leader Stephane Dion said Monday afternoon he will give up the post once a successor is picked at a leadership convention.

The Liberals have a policy convention scheduled for early May in Vancouver but that is expected to be moved up.

"Politics has its ups and downs," Dion said in announcing his intentions. "I'm happy to be able to say I have enjoyed many more ups than downs."

Dion's decision came after last week's national election in which the Liberals not only lost 19 seats in Parliament but also saw their share of the popular vote slip significantly.

However, rather than appoint an interim party chief, Dion said he informed the party's president he intends to stay on until a new party leader is named, Canwest News Service reported.

"I will not be a candidate for the leadership of my party at that convention," Dion said. "I will remain as leader in order to ensure a smooth and successful transition."

Canwest said the list of potential replacements include: Michael Ignateiff, Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, Frank McKenna, Scott Brison, Dominic LeBlanc, Ruby Dhalla and Martha Hall Findlay. All are members of Parliament except McKenna, a banker and former New Brunswick premier and former ambassador to the United States.