Thomas Thabane has announced he will step down as prime minister of Lesotho following months of pressure after he was named as a suspect in the murder of his ex-wife.
He did not say when he would leave office but his party said a new premier would be sworn in on Tuesday.
The 80-year-old’s current wife, with whom he was living at the time of the murder, was charged in connection with the killing in February.
The pair have denied any involvement.
“I decided to personally come and inform you that I am stepping down as prime minister of Lesotho,” AFP news agency says he told supporters in his Abia home constituency on the outskirts of the capital Maseru.
At the beginning of the year police named him as a suspect in the killing of Lipolelo Thabane. He hasn’t been formally charged because his case has been referred to the high court to consider his argument that as prime minister, he should enjoy immunity from prosecution.
Lesotho has been plagued by political instability this year – he lost his majority in parliament last week when the coalition backing him fell apart and a new government is expected to be installed on Friday.