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In Australian Vote, Prime Minister Concedes To Abbott

Filed by KOSU News in World News.
September 7, 2013

In Australia’s just-concluded national vote, conservative Tony Abbott has won enough support to become the country’s next prime minister and end six years of Labor rule. That’s the analysis from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which reports that voters’ main issues were the economy and repeal of carbon and mining taxes.

The election comes months after Julia Gillard, 51, Australia’s first female prime minister, lost the support of her party. Labor replaced her with Kevin Rudd, who had preceded Gillard as prime minister. But the party failed to show a unity of purpose, according to many analysts.

Rudd conceded defeat Saturday evening (local time), The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

A former Rhodes scholar who leads the Liberal-National coalition, Abbott benefited from “the strident support of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers,” the BBC says.

He has “promised to restore political stability, cut taxes and crack down on asylum seekers arriving by boat,” according to Reuters.

Abbott was also the target of a famously ferocious speech by Gillard in 2012, when she called him a misogynist who had repeatedly offended her and all the women in Australia, as The Two-Way reported. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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