Turnbull sworn in as new Australian PM after ousting Abbott

Malcolm Turnbull takes oath as new prime minister of Australia, after beating Tony Abbott for Liberal Party leadership

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Malcolm Turnbull taking oath as new Australian prime minister

Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as the new prime minister of Australia early on Tuesday, after ousting Tony Abbott for the leadership of the governing Liberal Party in a snap party vote.

A former leader of the party in 2008-2009, Turnbull, beat Abbott on Monday after resigning his post as the Communications Minister, challenging Abbott over the leadership for the party.

"I'm filled with optimism and we will be setting out in the weeks ahead ... more of those foundations that will ensure our prosperity in the years ahead," Turnbull said just before his inauguration to the parliament.

Turnbull has challenged Abbott, whose popularity declined significantly in recent months, criticising his leadership style and economic policies.

"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 on Monday.

His progressive policies on climate change and liberal views on same sex marriage had made Turnbull unpopular among members from the conservative wing of the party.  

However, Abbott’s declining poll numbers and his hardline approach against refugees led the party members to choose Turnbull for the leadership as the elections loom closer.

Political analysts say Turnbull’s accession to power increases the chances of the Liberal Party to stay in government following the elections, which are to be held in about a year, as opposition Labor Party leads in the polls currently.

"If the election was held yesterday, the opposition would have won. If it was held today they would lose," said Peter Chen professor of Australian politics at Sydney University.

"Malcolm Turnbull is much more of a threat to the leader of the opposition than Tony Abbott was," Chen said. "It looks like, unless things really change, the government will get a second term in office," he added.



TRTWorld and agencies