Premier Ed Stelmach announces he won’t run in next election

Premier Ed Stelmach announced Tuesday that he will be stepping down as leader.

In a statement, Stelmach said since the New Year started he’s been spending the last few weeks asking his caucus to indicate their intentions for the next election.

“As I have been having these discussions I have also been reflecting on my own commitment to serve beyond the next election,” he said.

“Upon much reflection and consultation with family and close friends, I have determined that after 25 years of public service I am not be prepared to serve another full term as premier.”

He will be announcing his departure date in the near future.

Stelmach said he had no doubt his decision would come as a shock to many and a “disappointment to my friends and Albertans.”

He also said that at a future date, he would provide written notice to the president of the PC party – “my intention to resign as leader.”

“In due course, a full, fair and transparent leadership race will be held to select my successor.

“My successor has the parliamentary authority to call an election anytime up to the constitutional deadline of March of 2013.

In the meantime, he’s said he’s pressing forward with this year’s provincial budget.

Stelmach has held the top position since replacing Ralph Klein as Alberta Conservative Party leader in December of 2006.

He was first elected to the legislature in 1993.