Obama asks Illinois governor to resign

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Washington, Dec 11: US President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday, Dec 10 called Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic Illinois Governor to resign, a day after Blagojevich was arrested on corruption charges. Robert Gibbs, Obama's spokesman said, "The president-elect agrees with (Illinois) Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and many others that under the current circumstances it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois."

On Tuesday, Dec 9 the FBI agents arrested Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris on federal corruption charges related in part to the selection of Obama's successor to the Senate. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Illinois a former partner of Obama also asked Blagojevich to step down immediately.

"Beyond guilt or innocence, the charges against you raise serious questions about your ability to carry out your duties as chief executive of our state," Durbin wrote in a letter sent to Blagojevich. He also asked Blagojevich not to name a successor to Barack Obama.

The Illinois Legislature will begin a special session Monday, Dec 15 to consider legislation that would authorize a special election to choose Obama's successor. Obama on Tuesday, Dec 9 declined to comment on the arrest, saying, "Like the rest of the people of Illinois I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the US attorney's office." Obama also said he had not contacted Blagojevich about his possible successor, adding, "I was not aware of what was happening."



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