Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Australia's Malcolm Turnbull survives leadership challenge

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop arrive for a party room meeting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop arrive for a party room meeting
| 21 August, 2018, 14:51

Dutton's challenge for leadership of the party, and in turn the prime ministership, came just two days after he pledged his support, yet again, for Turnbull and his policies amid drama surrounding his signature energy policy.

"You've got a choice between Malcolm Turnbull, who hasn't been enormously popular in WA, and then another contender that no one in Western Australia has probably heard much of, or is that familiar with", Dr Drum said.

While Turnbull has won the day, the battle for the leadership of the party is not over.

Dutton will move to the backbench from the Home Affairs Minister position he lobbied hard to create, where he is likely to continue to agitate for the leadership.

Government sources also pointed to Labor questions about Mr Dutton's financial interest in childcare centres last October, when Victorian Labor senator Kimberley Kitching asked about the family trust and any pecuniary interest in payments from the Commonwealth.

However, Mr Turnbull has consistently rated higher than Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister.

"It is always orderly in our party room", Marino said.

His office confirmed the resignation was a matter of integrity after the senator supported Mr Dutton in the Tuesday morning vote. However, a state election in the state of Victoria scheduled for late November is seen limiting Turnbull to dates before the end of October if he meant to hold a national poll this year.

"I don't actually expect a challenge today, but we'll wait and see", he told the ABC on Tuesday. "I believe that Malcolm Turnbull is the right person to lead us to the next election".

'Where are this prime minister's convictions?' .


Mr Turnbull said he would not proceed with the emissions target - part of his National Energy Guarantee (NEG) - because it had no prospect of passing through the House of Representatives, where he has only a slim majority.

Like Mr Dutton today, Mr Keating was 47 when he challenged a sitting prime minister in his sixties the first time.

"What we want to know is- Where are this prime minister's convictions?".

"It was a conversion of convenience this morning", Abbott added.

Damian Drum, a lawmaker in The Nationals' party, a junior coalition partner, called on Mr. Abbott to resign from Parliament instead of destabilizing the government.

"He vowed that he wouldn't be a wrecker", Drum told reporters of Abbott.

"We need to invest more in water to get farmers out of drought so they do not go through what they go through at the moment".

Julie Bishop was re-elected unopposed as deputy Liberal leader and ruled out challenging Mr Turnbull for the leadership.

Australia has gone through an extraordinary period of political instability since Prime Minister John Howard lost power in 2007 after more than 11 years in office. Australians are due to hold a general election early next year.

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