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Two Women to Compete for British PM Post

  • VOA News

The two remaining candidates in the Conservative party leadership contest, Theresa May (L) and Andrea Leadsom, are seen in this combination of two photographs, released in London, Britain July 7, 2016.

The two remaining candidates in the Conservative party leadership contest, Theresa May (L) and Andrea Leadsom, are seen in this combination of two photographs, released in London, Britain July 7, 2016.

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom have been chosen to compete for the prime minister's position.

On a second ballot Thursday, conservative members of parliament cast 199 votes for May, 84 for Leadsom and 46 for Justice Secretary Michael Gove to lead the Tory Party. Gove was eliminated and the two women now have the chance to become the country's next prime minister.

About 150,000 members of the Conservatives Party across Britain will now vote by postal ballot to decide whether May or Leadsom become Britain's first woman prime minister since Margaret Thatcher was forced from office in 1990.

The result would be known on September 9. The winner will replace Prime Minister David Cameron who announced his resignation after Britons voted on June 23 to leave the European Union.

The new prime minister will be responsible for leading Britain's exit negotiations with the 28-nation bloc, as well as leading a country shaken by global markets' reaction to the Brexit referendum.

The 53-year-old Leadsom, who was elected six years ago as a member of parliament and backed the "leave" campaign in the referendum, said Thursday that her top priority would be to guarantee tariff-free trade with the EU after leaving.

The 59-year-old May, who supported the losing "remain" side, said she is the best person to unite a party that, like the country, is divided over the referendum result.

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