Nine members of the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party have so far launched bids to replace Boris Johnson as the party head and next prime minister.
The latest announcements on Sunday come three days after Johnson said he would step down following the resignations of several ministers and other officials in his government in the wake of the latest scandal to mar his tenure.
Johnson said he would lead a caretaker government until his replacement is named and the timeline for that process would be announced soon.
The notoriously unpredictable exercise in standing as a candidate involves several rounds of voting by party members to choose the two top candidates, who will then be put forward on a postal ballot sent to the Conservative Party’s wider membership.
The winner of the postal ballot will become the party’s new leader and will have the option to call a snap election.
Some additional candidates, including Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, are still expected to announce their bids while other would-be favourites, including Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, have already bowed out of the race.
Sunak was the second minister to resign in protest over Johnson’s poor handling of sexual harassment allegations against Conservative legislator Christopher Pincher.
He launched his campaign on Friday, a day after Johnson’s resignation, and is considered an early favourite, but has faced criticism over his wife’s non-domiciled tax status.
In his campaign video, Sunak promised to confront Britain’s difficult economic backdrop with “honesty, seriousness and determination”.