Australia PM loses, steps down

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Julia Gillard has resigned, after the Australian Labour Party voted her out of its leadership yesterday.

She had called for the vote herself after months of inner-party friction ahead of a general election in September.

Her rival, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, takes her place as party leader, after winning the internal ballot in a 57-45 vote,  according to an ALP spokesperson.

He is now Australia’s de facto prime minister and could be sworn in within hours, if Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce approves him for the office.

The governor-general represents Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of State.

Rudd, who was elected in 2007 but was ousted by Gillard in a leadership challenge in 2010, said he returns to the office of prime minister with “humility, with honour and with an important sense of energy and purpose.”

He said the negative politics holding Australia back in recent years “must stop,” and that he will strive to achieve this goal as prime minister.

He also paid tribute to Gillard as “a woman of extraordinary intelligence, of great strengths and great energy,” and said she had achieved remarkable reforms despite heading a minority government.

In her own news conference, Gillard said she was grateful to have had the opportunity to lead her country.

“This privilege was truly humbling. I thank the Australian Labour Party for that privilege and I thank the Australian people for their support,” she said.

“When I first put myself forward for consideration for Labour leader in 2010, I had the overwhelming support of my colleagues to do so. I thank them for that.

“And I thank them for giving the opportunity to me not only to serve the nation but to serve as the first female prime minister of this country.”

Gillard said she had written to the governor-general to inform her of the ballot result and asking her to commission Rudd as prime minister.

She was going to see Bryce later yesterday. — CNN

Comments (3)

This is how democracy works. You lose you go. With our dear leader results are withheld for weeks while Zec and the Guky securocrats cook the ballots. With help from Mbeki, the loser remains president and the winner is relegated to a seremonial premiership. What a shame.

Setec Astronomy - 28 June 2013

Is Australia a Democracy?? U must be joking, it's more like saying Apatheid South Africa was a Democracy.

Spinach - 28 June 2013

Ana Kwinjeh vangazviite izvi.

Jongwe Mupoto - 1 July 2013

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