HELSINKI, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen on Friday tendered his official resignation to President Tarja Halonen at the Presidential Palace.
He will continue to lead a caretaker government until a new cabinet is appointed.
Vanhanen announced his plans to resign as both prime minister and Centre Party chair before Christmas 2009.
He is to be succeeded as Prime Minister by Mari Kiviniemi, who was elected as the new chair of Finland's largest ruling Centre Party at a party conference held last Saturday.
President Halonen is to present Kiviniemi as the prime minister candidate to the Parliament on Tuesday. The Parliament will meet for a plenary session to approve the new prime minister before the president will accept the resignation of Vanhanen's government and announce the new government.
Vanhanen neither told reporters about his future plans, nor spoke of the reason for his resignation.