Cuban leader Fidel Castro on Tuesday resigned as president in a statement published in the online version of the official daily Granma.
"To my dear compatriots, who gave me the immense honor in recent days of electing me a member of parliament ... I communicate to you that I will not aspire to or accept ... the position of president of council of state and commander in chief," Castro said in the statement.
Castro, who temporarily handed over power to his brother Raul Castro due to his gastro-intestinal surgery in July 2006, was reelected a deputy of the National Assembly in January.
The assembly will be convened on Sunday. Under Cuba's constitution, the National Assembly chooses 31 of its members to form the Council of State, whose leader will be Cuba's president.
(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2008)