Former president Daniel arap Moi of Kenya has relinquished the chairmanship of the former ruling party but has shocked many by failing to name a successor.
Moi dominated Kenyan politics for a quarter of a century
Mr Moi made the announcement on Thursday at a meeting attended by all the MPs of Kenya's official opposition party, the Kenya African National Union (Kanu).
Mr Moi is now expected to dedicate more of his time to the Moi Foundation, whose main aim is broker regional peace.
The BBC's Wanyama Chebusiri in Nairobi says that Mr Moi astounded party followers gathered outside the meeting's venue by not naming a successor.
Kanu ruled Kenya from independence in 1963 to 2002 when it lost in hotly contested general elections to an opposition alliance led by Mwai Kibaki - the current president.
Since the December 2002 vote, many of the party functions have been overseen by Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Kenyatta is one of Kanu's two vice-chairmen and was Mr Moi's controversial choice to be the party's presidential candidate.
Our reporter says that the party has been hit by internal wrangling in recent days and this is probably why Mr Moi failed to name Mr Kenyatta as his successor, preferring instead to wait until party elections are held.
A section of MP's from Mr Moi's Rift Valley province is said to be opposed to Mr Kenyatta taking over from Mr Moi.
Prior to the 2002 elections a number of influential Kanu officials, including several former cabinet ministers in Mr Moi's government, quit the party after Mr Moi chose Mr Kenyatta as his successor.