I think its sad to resign, but it has been a struggle against time, Petersen said at a press conference at Høyres Hus Monday afternoon.
Petersen explained that it has been hard to combine the two jobs as foreign minister and party leader.
I travel abroad a lot, and it has been hard to be there as a party leader and participating in the debates during greater parts of the year, Petersen said. I would like to thank the party for giving me the opportunity to learn so much through the work in the party.
Petersen claimed repeatedly that he was far from qualified or prepared when he became party leader in 1994. Petersen has headed the party in prosperity and hardship during the last ten years. In the partys 120 year long history, no one has continuously headed the party for so long.
It has been hard the last couple of years, Petersen explained. I just became party leader because there were not many others to choose from.
The Conservatives will select a new leader at the national meeting in May.
The Conservatives next leader Erna Solberg is considered to be a favourite, but Minister of Finance Per-Kristian Foss, and Environmental Secretary and Parliamentary Leader Jan Tore Sanner may also be possible candidates.
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