Australian Deputy Prime Minister resigns

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

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Australia's Deputy Prime Minster John Anderson resigned today citing health concerns.

Anderson suffers from a benign tumor in his prostate and said he feels that only by cutting back his official and policial commitments would his condition improve.

Anderson also said in a speech to parliament he will be stepping down as leader of the National Party of Australia -- the junior partner in the current Liberal Party of Australia coalition government. Deputy Leader of the Nationals Mark Vaile will replace Anderson.