Taoiseach Brian Cowen will not contest the general election, he announced tonight.
Mr Cowen’s political future had been in doubt after he stepped down as leader of the ruling Fianna Fáil party more than a week ago.
He said that after consulting with his family he would not run again in his Laois/Offaly constituency.
Mr Cowen said: "I have to take things into consideration now in the context of the fact of having been Taoiseach and leader of the party and former leader and giving a break to the new leader.''
He said he also took his family into consideration.
The outgoing Taoiseach said new Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin did not ask him to stand down.
“It was not a question of Michéal expecting me to stand aside,” Mr Cowen told Midlands Radio tonight.
Mr Cowen will dissolve the Dáil tomorrow and name a date for the most eagerly awaited general election in decades.
The Dail will reconvene at 2.30pm with a statement from Mr Cowen and expected remarks from the leaders of Opposition parties Fine Gael, Labour, Sinn Féin and the Greens, who pulled out of coalition the day after Mr Cowen quit as Fianna Fáil leader.
The Taoiseach will then attend President Mary McAleese’s residence, Aras an Uachtarain in the Phoenix Park, and ask her to formally dissolve the Dáil.
Mr Cowen said that while his political career will come to an end, his commitment to the party would remain as strong as ever.
“Of course it’s with a heavy heart you make a decision such as this,” he said.
“It’s a momentous decision for me, but also I think it’s the right decision because the party now is in the process of rebuilding and rejuvenating and renewing, and a generational shift should take place of which I’m a part, certainly in terms of the tenure I’ve had as a prominent member of the organisation throughout the country for many years.”