Boris Johnson wins race to be UK prime minister

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LONDON (AP/KKTV) - Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson has won the race to lead Britain's governing Conservative Party and will become the country's next prime minister.

He defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt overwhelmingly in a vote of Conservative Party members.

He will be installed as prime minister in a formal handover from Theresa May on Wednesday.

The victory is a triumph for the 55-year-old Johnson, an ambitious but erratic politician whose political career has veered between periods in high office and spells on the sidelines.

Johnson has vowed that Britain will quit the European Union, "come what may," on the scheduled Brexit departure date of Oct. 31 even if it means leaving without a divorce deal

But he faces a rocky ride from a Parliament determined to prevent him from taking the U.K. out of the bloc without a withdrawal agreement.

Johnson was chosen from just a sliver of the UK's population -- 0.2 percent of the electorate to be exact. That's because in the UK's parliamentary system, the prime minister almost always comes from the party who holds the most seats in government, versus in the U.S. where it's hardly unusual for a president to preside over an opposing Congress. In outgoing Prime Minister May's case, she was appointed to that position after her party, the Conservatives, won the most seats.

With May stepping down, her successor was always going to be chosen from the Conservative Party. About 160,000 Conservatives decided between Johnson and Hunt.