Australian Prime Minister Survives Leadership Challenge


Originally posted on TIME:

(CANBERRA) — Australia’s beleaguered Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived an internal government challenge to his leadership on Monday, despite a revolt by dozens of colleagues that leaves him politically damaged.

A meeting of lawmakers in the ruling conservative Liberal Party voted 61 to 39 to reject a motion that called for a ballot for party leader and deputy, party whip Philip Ruddock reported after the brief meeting.

Abbott needed a stronger show of support from his colleagues to ward off potential future challenges if the government continues to endure sagging approval ratings in opinion polls.

But he said later that he should stay in charge of the government until voters decide his fate in elections next year.

“We want to end the disunity and the uncertainty which destroyed two Labor governments and give you the good government that you deserve,” Abbott said in a video statement, referring to the center-left…

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Australian Prime Minister Faces Challenge to Leadership


Originally posted on TIME:

(CANBERRA) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday that he and his deputy will urge the ruling party to reject calls to hold a leadership ballot next week that could potentially oust them.

Lawmaker Luke Simpkins said in an email to colleagues that he will move a motion at a ruling Liberal Party meeting on Tuesday calling for Abbott to declare that his job and that of his deputy Julie Bishop are open to a ballot of 102 government lawmakers.

Abbott said he and Bishop, the foreign minister, would urge the meeting to reject the motion. He said that Australians had voted out the chaotic and divided center-left Labor Party government in 2013 because it had changed its prime minister twice in four years.

“They are perfectly entitled to call for this, but the next point to make is that they are asking the party room to vote…

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Australian Politics: 1 February 2015 – Lessons Learnt?