15
Sep
15

PM TOPPLED without much fuss in a real democracy

Turnbull topples Abbott, to become Australia’s fifth PM in eight years

Australia will have its fifth prime minister in eight years after the ruling Liberal Party on Monday voted out Tony Abbott in favor of longtime rival Malcolm Turnbull, following months of infighting and crumbling voter support.

Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur, won a secret party vote by 54 to 44, Liberal Party chief whip Scott Buchholz told reporters after the meeting in Canberra.

Australia is set to hold elections before the end of next year, and Turnbull, expected to be sworn in as prime minister on Tuesday, told reporters he had no intention of calling an early poll to cement his legitimacy.

“I’m very humbled by the great honor and responsibility that has been given to me today,” an ebullient Turnbull told reporters during a late-night press conference.

“This will be a thoroughly liberal government. It will be a thoroughly liberal government committed to freedom, the individual and the market.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was re-elected deputy leader of the party which, with junior coalition partner the National Party, won a landslide election in 2013.

Abbott had earlier pledged to fight the challenge from Turnbull, but was ultimately unsuccessful in overcoming the “destabilisation” that he said had been taking place within the party for months.

He walked stony faced out of the party room following the vote and did not speak to reporters.

…more
Sep 14, 2015 – Reuters
Turnbull topples Abbott, to become Australia’s fifth PM in eight years
By Matt Siegel

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