Herman Cain suspends presidential campaign

Washington: Embattled Republican Herman Cain on Saturday suspended his campaign for a presidential nomination after a series of allegations of sexual misconduct that he said had caused hurt to his family.

Cain`s rise to the fore-front of the Republican campaign came from humble origins, and he was emerging as one of front runners of the presidential nominees of the Grand Old Party, until being hit by a battery of accusations that heavily dented his image.

He said the "unproved allegations" had caused hurt to him and to his family and made it difficult for him to continue. "As these false acquisitions continue, they have sidetracked my ability to present solutions to the American people," Cain told his supporters.

For the past month, Cain has denied accusations that he had sexually harassed several women when he headed the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. The latest came this week from an Atlanta woman, who alleged that Cain had a 13-year extra marital affair with her.

"One of the first declarations I want to make with you today is that I am at peace with my God… I am at peace with my wife. And she is at peace with me," Cain said. But, "As of today with a lot of prayer and soul searching I am suspending my presidential campaign … because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family".

Cain`s move that effectively ends his presidential bid leaves the Republican primary contest open again.

The contest is dominated by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and has witnessed a number of candidates rise and fall, including Minnesota conservative Michele Bachmann, and Texas Governor Rick Perry.