Palin to step down as Alaska governor


Washington : Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who was catapulted to national prominence as the Republican vice presidential candidate last year, will resign later this month, she said Friday.

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In a televised press conference from her home in Wasilla, Alaska, she said she would hand over governing duties to Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell July 26 and instead work to “affect positive political change outside of government”.

The move shocked national political commentators and raised questions about the reasons behind the move and her political future.

“I’m determined to take the right path for Alaska even if it’s not conventional,” she told local reporters while surrounded by her husband, five children and members of her cabinet.

She said she had determined not to run for reelection in 2010 and thought it best to hand over power to Parnell rather than continuing in office for the remainder of her term.

Palin has remained in the national political spotlight since serving as running mate to Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Her name has been frequently mentioned by political commentators as a possible candidate to challenge President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in 2012.

In the press conference, she detailed her administration’s accomplishments but said the state had become distracted by ethics allegations against her that though proven false have cost the state thousands of dollars.

She also said the dialogue had become one of the “politics of personal destruction” against her and her family.

Palin became a favourite of much of the Republican Party’s conservative base, but also became a frequent subject of comedians. She was derided for lack of experience and her poor performance in a series of interviews before the election. Critics also attacked her personal life, including the pregnancy of her unwed teenage daughter.