'Fight for a stronger Alberta': Kenney comments for first time since announcing resignation

Premier Jason Kenney spoke publicly Friday for the first time since dropping the bombshell announcement that he plans to step down as UCP leader and premier of Alberta.

But there are still so many unanswered questions about Kenney's future -- and the future of his party. 

The short appearance was made prior to a cabinet meeting at the McDougall Centre in Calgary.

"We have a lot of important work in front of us involving the vote from the leadership review earlier this week and, as you know, my intention to step aside as United Conservative Party leader," Kenney told the assembled members of the media. "I'll be doing so as soon as the party has selected a new leader. We're determined to keep our eye on the ball."

The premier did not field questions following his speech. In fact, members of the media were taken out of the room only moments after his statement wrapped up. 

It's unclear when he'll next be made available to answer reporter questions. 

Kenney announced his plans on Wednesday after narrowly winning his party's leadership review with 51.4 per cent support.

Caucus will select a new leader and premier "at the earliest possible opportunity," according to the party's governance manual.

A date has yet to be set.

Both the government cabinet and UCP caucus met in Calgary Thursday for "vigorous discussion and debate" about the next steps. After more than six hours inside, the caucus announced Kenney would remain in his role "until such time as a new leader is chosen." 

Speculation regarding who will replace Kenney continues to intensify.

Some experts even believe Kenney himself still has his eyes on the job. No rules would stop him from running a campaign. 

That, of course, was neither confirmed or denied during the premier's cabinet photo-op Friday. 

"This is a government that's focused on their own internal drama," NDP MLA Kathleen Ganley told reporters. "They're failing to focus on what Albertans need, and I think that would make them reluctant to take questions."