Lia (awakejupiter) wrote in ontd_political,

Australia's first female PM

Julia Gillard has become Australia's first female prime minister after Kevin Rudd stood aside at the last minute before this morning's historic leadership ballot.

Ms Gillard was unelected unopposed, making her the nation's 27th prime minister and its first female leader. She has chosen Treasurer Wayne Swan to be her Deputy Prime Minister.

Ms Gillard had the numbers - reportedly 74 of the 112 caucus votes - and the majority support of the party.

The two were expected to go head to head, but Mr Rudd stood down at the last minute. Word of the leadership change came around 25 minutes into the meeting, with reports emerging that Mr Rudd had bowed to pressure, making way for Ms Gillard to become Labor leader and the new prime minister. She is expected to be sworn in within days.
Returning officer for the Labor Party Michael Forshaw said the meeting was ‘‘conducted in a very orderly manner’’.
‘‘It was a very gracious speech by the Prime Minister and also by the new leader and deputy leader,’’ he said.

‘‘There was no ballot because there was only one nomination for both divisions.’’

This morning's leadership challenge followed a tumultuous 24 hours in politics as a last-minute push yesterday to oust Mr Rudd, driven by the Right faction in Victoria and South Australia, gathered momentum.

The crisis came to a head last night at a meeting in the Prime Minister's office attended by Mr Rudd, Ms Gillard, Mr Albanese, Mr Tanner, Mr Swan and Defence Minister John Faulkner.

The push for Gillard to take over was started by elements of the Victorian, New South Wales and South Australian right and the Victorian left faction.

Victorian Parliamentary Secretary Bill Shorten, Victorian Senator David Feeney, Melbourne Ports member Michael Danby and South Australian Senator Don Farrell from the right were involved, as was Industry Minister Kim Carr from the left.

It is an astonishing fall from grace for Mr Rudd, who has been through a rollercoaster of highs and lows during only one term in office.

He took a dramatic dive in the polls two months ago, dragging Labor's support down with him.


I'm pretty happy right now. What about other Aussies?
Tags: australia

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