Kevin Rudd is quitting politics after twice winning and losing the leadership of Australia’s government during the past six years.
Mr Rudd first became prime minister after leading his centre-left Labor Party to an election victory in 2007.
He was deposed in an internal power struggle in 2010 and then returned to the nation’s leadership only months before a conservative coalition won power in September elections.
Mr Rudd told parliament he would quit his House of Representatives seat by the end of this week for family reasons.
The 56-year-old surprised many commentators who had expected him to remain in politics to make a third bid for power after the next election due in 2016.