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Mitch McConnell

Photo: Mark Schiefelbein / AP

Mitch McConnell, the leading Republican in the US Senate, wants to resign from his post in November.

He turned 82 last week and has been a member of the Senate since 1985.

"One of the most unappreciated talents in life is knowing when to move on to the next chapter of life," McConnell said in a statement.

He wanted to stay in the Senate until the end of the legislative period in 2027, as he said, but "from a different place," said the Republican - i.e. no longer as the leader of the Republicans.

McConnell had previously actually decided to remain in office until the end of the legislative session.

After misfires in public appearances, the leading Republican in the US Senate tried to allay concerns about his health.

During a statement last year, for example, McConnell stopped speaking mid-sentence.

There was around 20 seconds of silence before party colleagues asked him if he was okay.

He was eventually led out of sight of the cameras.

McConnell is the longest-serving party leader in U.S. Senate history.

According to the Chamber of Congress, he has been elected to lead the Republicans nine times since 2006, depending on the outcome of the respective general elections and the parties' seats in the Senate as majority or minority leader.

He has long been considered one of the most important masterminds in US politics.

The advanced age of top American politicians is always the subject of debate.

Joe Biden is the oldest US president ever and is seeking a second term.

The Republicans now have to choose a new leader in the US Senate.

McConnell's successor could be important, especially with a view to a possible US President Donald Trump.