Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Low turnout in Algerian election tipped to return Bouteflika

    Read more

  • Hundreds still trapped in sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • Deadly attack on civilians sheltering in UN base in South Sudan

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Eurostar train delay "chaos"

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton says she is pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Independents back Labor's Gillard to form government

©

Video by Siobhán SILKE

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2010-09-07

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced her intention to lead a stable minority government after winning the crucial support of two independent lawmakers.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Tuesday she was prepared to lead Australia after reaching an agreement with two independent MPs. Gillard’s Labor Party will enjoy a majority of just one seat in the new parliament.

"We are governing with a majority of 76. We are prepared to go forward to serve the Australian people," Gillard told reporters in Canberra. Her announcement capped more than two weeks of intense negotiations after an inconclusive Aug. 21 general election resulted in Australia’s first hung parliament in 70 years.

Independent lawmaker Rob Oakeshott and fellow "kingmaker" Tony Windsor both sided with Gillard on Tuesday rather than with Liberal/National coalition leader Tony Abbott.

France 24's Fanou Filali reports from Sidney, Australia, on Prime Minister Julia Gillard winning power to form a new government

Bob Katter, a cowboy-hat-wearing rural independent from Queensland, earlier threw his support behind Abbott, giving him 74 seats and breaking the declared alliance between the three country independents who had vowed to stand shoulder to shoulder.

"Labor is prepared to govern," Gillard said. "I believe the Australian people, given the closeness of this vote, want us to find more common ground in the national interest."

FRANCE 24 correspondent Fanou Filali said finding more common ground would require a sea change in Australia’s parliament. “One thing the independents did was secure a commitment form both major parties to parliamentary reform,” she said.

The reform, Filali reported, would include appointing an independent MP as the speaker of the house, shorter questions during question time, shorter answers, and in general, a more consultative government.

“These changes will give ordinary MPs more of a voice, and will strip away some of the control from the executive,” our correspondent added.

Independent streak

"I will... give confidence and supply to government, and in effect that means confidence and supply in Julia Gillard unless, and I emphasise unless, exceptional circumstances determine otherwise," said Oakeshott, the last of the three independents to declare his support for Labor’s minority government.

Oakeshott and Windsor said their desire for a stable government, one that would last as long as possible, was the main reason they had thrown their support behind the incumbent prime minister. But Labor offered enticing rewards and political concessions to secure the independents’ loyalty.

Gillard, who seized power in a party coup just 10 weeks ago before calling a snap election, announced an extra 9.9 billion dollars (7 billion euros) in funding for rural healthcare, in a bid to win over the independents.

Another key factor that swung in Gillard’s favour was Labor’s pledge to roll out a 31-billion-euro national broadband network for rural Australia.

Gillard said she expected to seek the endorsement of the governor general, the representative of British Queen Elizabeth II, to form a government later on Tuesday.

She added that she would swear in a cabinet next week and confirmed she had offered a position to former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who won 2007 elections by a landslide but was axed by Labor’s coup in June.

 

Date created : 2010-09-07

  • AUSTRALIA

    Key 'kingmaker' supports opposition in race to form government

    Read more

  • AUSTRALIA

    Leaders woo independents as hung parliament looms

    Read more

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian election goes down to the wire

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)