Cameron says he won't seek third term in office

David Cameron has ruled out a third term as prime minister, even before he is elected to a second term (AFP Photo/Thierry Charlier)
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London (AFP) - David Cameron rules out a third term as prime minister, as he contests a close-fought British general election to try to win a second term.

"There definitely comes a time when a fresh pair of eyes or fresh leadership would be good," Cameron told a BBC interview. "The third term is not something I'm contemplating."

In power since 2010, Cameron's right-wing Conservative party is currently neck and neck in polls with the main opposition centre-left Labour party ahead of the May 7 vote.

Labour and Cameron's junior coalition partners the Liberal Democrats criticised his comments as taking for granted he would be elected to a second term in May.

"It's incredibly presumptuous of David Cameron to be worrying about a third term as Prime Minister weeks before the General Election," said a Liberal Democrat spokesman. The Labour party accused Cameron of being "arrogant".

Cameron said he wanted to "finish the job" of reforming Britain's economy in the next five years, and named future potential leaders of the Conservative party as interior minister Theresa May, finance minister George Osborne and London mayor Boris Johnson.

"The Conservative Party has got some great people coming up," he told the BBC. "There's plenty of talent there."

The comments set political commentators asking whether Cameron's position would be weakened by the informal start of a leadership contest within his party.

The remarks also rebuff speculation that if re-elected, Cameron could step down after a promised referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union in 2017.

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