(Bloomberg) -- Jason Kenney stepped down as Alberta premier after winning just 51.4% support of party members in a leadership vote, plunging the oil-rich Canadian province into political turmoil.

“The result is not what I hoped for or frankly what I expected,” Kenney told a Calgary audience after the result was announced Wednesday evening.

Kenney has come under withering criticism from within the United Conservative Party over his use of public-health restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. His party’s plunge in public support over the past two years had put his leadership in peril.

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