Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Rudd sworn in as Australian PM after toppling Gillard

© AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-27

Australia's former leader Kevin Rudd was sworn in as prime minister on Wednesday after ousting Julia Gillard in a party vote just months ahead of presidential elections, and almost three years to the day since he was toppled from the job by Gillard.

Kevin Rudd has wrenched back the job of Australian prime minister from the former deputy who took it from him three years ago, possibly just in time to lead his party to a defeat in upcoming elections.

He was sworn in on Thursday and urged fellow lawmakers to be “a little kinder and gentler” towards each other following the internal coup that ousted Julia Gillard, the country’s first woman prime minister.

Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat, forced Gillard out on Wednesday in nearly the same way she ousted him in 2010. Each faced a party leadership vote in the face of a revolt from Labor Party lawmakers, but while Rudd did not contest Gillard’s earlier challenge, she went ahead with a vote that she lost 57-45.

Gillard tendered her resignation on Wednesday night.

In a brief statement to Parliament two hours after he was sworn in as national leader, Rudd praised Gillard’s “major reforms” on issues such as industrial law and school literacy testing, as well “her great work as a standard bearer for women.”

Rudd’s ouster had created a rift in the Labor Party and endless infighting. He had tried twice previously to oust Gillard, last year and in February. Many took the fact that he never posed for a Parliament House portrait, as other former prime ministers had done, as a sign that he never gave up on returning.

“As we all know in this place, political life is a very hard life; a very hard life indeed,” Rudd told Parliament.

“Let us try – just try – to be a little kinder and gentler with each other in the further deliberations of this Parliament,” he added.

Rudd’s way back to leadership was paved with the Labor Party’s dismal opinion polling under Gillard, ahead of elections she had set for Sept. 14 but that Rudd could schedule as early as Aug. 3. Australians favor Rudd over Gillard, and while the conservative opposition is still favored to win the next election, Rudd’s leadership could help avoid a landslide defeat.

Rudd had warned that Labor was facing its worst election defeat under Gillard’s leadership in the 111-year history of the Australian federation.

Gillard lacked Rudd’s charisma, and although many Labor lawmakers preferred her style, her deepening unpopularity among voters compelled a majority to seek a change.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott demanded an explanation from Rudd of why Gillard was deposed with elections looming. Abbott also called for an election date to be confirmed.

“Politics is a tough business and sometimes it is far more brutal than it needs to be,” Abbott said.

“This is a fraught moment in the life of our nation. A prime minister has been dragged down; her replacement owes the Australian people and the Australian Parliament an explanation,” he added.

Rudd’s office could not immediately confirm whether Rudd would replace Gillard in a visit to Indonesia that had been scheduled for next week.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce commissioned Rudd as prime minister on Thursday, what is likely to be Parliament’s last day before elections.

Anthony Albanese was sworn in as deputy prime minister and Chris Bowen was sworn in as treasurer during the same ceremony. Rudd has yet to say when he will announce his complete Cabinet after seven ministers resigned following Gillard’s ouster.

Rudd faces a potential no-confidence vote in Parliament. He probably would survive it, but a loss could trigger an election as early as Aug. 3.

Bryce revealed that she took late-night legal advice on whether she should swear in Rudd. A minority government such as Gillard led has not been seen in Australian federal politics since World War II, and Labor’s leadership change raised unique constitutional questions.

While Rudd has the support of his party, Labor has just 71 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives. Gillard was able to govern with support from some independents and the minor Greens party. They are not obligated to support Rudd, though he did get the backing of at least two independent lawmakers who had not supported Gillard.

Rudd’s statement fulfilled a condition set by Bryce that he quickly notify Parliament of his appointment so that lawmakers had an opportunity to take action.

Gillard said after her loss Wednesday that she was proud of her government’s achievements, including the introduction of an unpopular carbon tax paid by the biggest industrial polluters. She had been dogged by her pre-election promise never to introduce such a tax.

Gillard’s gender was a focus several times during her tenure, and she made international headlines for calling Abbott a misogynist.

She said Wednesday that because of her tenure, “It will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that. And I’m proud of that.”

(AP)

Date created : 2013-06-27

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian PM Gillard ousted by Rudd in party vote

    Read more

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's PM Gillard survives leadership challenge

    Read more

  • AUSTRALIA

    Former PM Rudd to challenge Gillard for Labor Party leadership

    Read more

COMMENT(S)