Kevin Rudd named new Australian PM
Kevin Rudd has ousted his former friend and Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard, becoming the leader of Australia’s Labor Party and soon to become the new Australian Prime Minister.
Mr Rudd stated: “In 2007 the Australian people elected me to be their Prime Minister and that is a task I resume today with humility, with honour and with an important sense of energy and purpose,” after he won in a Labor lawmakers’ leadership ballot by 57 votes to 45. This change has occurred prior to the general election which will take place in September.
This is another stage in the long running competition between the two politicians, after Ms Gillard deposed Mr Rudd in 2010. The leadership test that she faced this week was the third since she came to office in 2010, after a destabilisation campaign launched by Mr Rudd and his supporters.
The competition is now set to come to an end as Ms Gillard has announced that she will not be recontesting. Once she has officially written to governor general Quentin Bryce in order to resign, Mr Rudd can be officially sworn in and step into the role of prime minister.
Mr Rudd has spoken about how he feels Australian politics have let people down in recent times, saying: “There’s just been too much negativity all round. There’s been an erosion of trust. Negative, destructive, personal politics has done much to bring dishonour to our Parliament but done nothing to address the urgent challenges facing our nation, our communities, our families.”
He added how “all this must stop and with all my heart that is the purpose I intend to pursue through the office of Prime Minister”.
Julia Gillard has thanked Australians for their support over the years, referring to the experience as “truly humbling” and confirmed that she would not recontest, saying: “I will not recontest the federal electorate…. at the forthcoming federal election.”
She added: “I will have time in the coming weeks to be back home in my electorate and to say hello and goodbye to the community that I’ve had the absolute privilege of representing in this Parliament since 1998, so I will keep comments about my electorate until that time.”