Australia to get new PM after Abbott loses party leadership

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott loses his seat to Malcolm Turnbull, becomes third deposed PM in eight years

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Australia is set to have a new prime minister after Tony Abbott lost the vote for the leadership of his governing Liberal Party, against the Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull on Monday.

Abbott lost the leadership in a 44-54 vote in favour of Turnbull, in a hastily arranged vote.

Turnbull is set to become the fifth prime minister of Australia, within the last eight years and will be sworn in after Abbott writes to Australia's governor general and offically resigns.

Rod Tiffen, an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Sydney said "we will have had two prime ministers overthrown in their first terms, which hasn't happened since World War Two. This shows the degree of instability within parties that we now have."

Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had called on Abbott to resign, following the rumors of a cabinet reshuffle last week which Abbott had denied.

Turnbull was ousted by Abbott from the party's leadership in 2009. He is a multi millionaire entrepreneur with some socially liberal views such as support for gay marriage and carbon trading.

"The prime minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs. He has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs," he said as he announced his challenge.

In response, Abbott announced a vote for the party leadership, adding “I will be a candidate and I expect to win.” He said the “destabilisation just has to stop,” referring to the rumors that have been going around for months.

Since early February, Abbott has been facing challenges from within his own party, since then Liberal Party has been behind the rival Labor Party in the polls.

Peter Chan, a political scientist from the University of Sydney said, Tumbull is “popular with the public, but not necessarily within his own party.”



TRTWorld and agencies