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Jesse Jackson Jr resigns from Illinois Congress seat

  • Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr has resigned just weeks after his re-election.

    Jackson, the son of civil rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson, is currently being treated for bipolar disorder and facing scrutiny from ethics probes.

    He has been largely absent from Congress in recent months. Jackson was re-elected in a heavily Democratic district on November 6.

    In June, it was revealed that he was undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues.

    He returned to his Washington home in September but went back to the clinic the next month.

    According to Rev Jackson, his son had not yet "regained his balance".

    Announcing his resignation on Wednesday, Jackson said: "The constituents of the district deserve a full-time legislator in Washington, something I cannot be for the foreseeable future. My health issues and treatment regimen have become incompatible with the House of Representatives."

    Jackson has also been under investigation by the House Ethics committee over his relationship with jailed ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Recent media reports also hint towards a fresh federal probe into possible misuse of campaign money.

    Jackson was first elected to the House of Representatives for the Illinois second congressional district in 1995.

    His seat in Congress will now be filled by a special election, the same way in which he was first elected.

    Jackson’s resignation is not expected to shift the political balance of power of the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Republicans.