Call for Australian PM’s Resignation Amid Election Chaos

Call for Australian PM’s Resignation Amid Election ChaosCall for Australian PM’s Resignation Amid Election Chaos

With Australia’s government in chaos amid a dramatic national election that failed to deliver an immediate winner, the country’s opposition leader called on Monday for the prime minister to resign, dubbing him “the David Cameron of the southern hemisphere”.

The dig by opposition leader Bill Shorten comes, as the country faces up to a month of uncertainty while officials scramble to count the millions of mail-in and remaining ballots that will determine who, if anyone, won Saturday’s knife-edge election, AP reported.

With about a quarter of the votes left to be tallied, neither Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s conservative Liberal Party-led coalition nor Shorten’s center-left Labor Party had secured the required 76 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives to form a government, raising the prospect of a dreaded hung parliament.

“Mr. Turnbull clearly doesn’t know what he is doing. Quite frankly, I think he should quit,” Shorten told reporters. “He has taken this nation to an election on the basis of stability. He has delivered instability ... The bloke is not up to the job.”

Shorten mocked Turnbull for assuring voters that sticking with the coalition was the safer, steadier choice amid the global chaos prompted by Britain’s decision to exit the European Union and British Prime Minister David Cameron’s subsequent resignation.

“Mr. Turnbull tried to capitalize on the Brexit vote and say therefore, because of what happened in England, you had to vote for him in Australia,” Shorten said. “He Brexited himself. This guy is like the David Cameron of the southern hemisphere.”

Turnbull was facing fierce criticism from all sides on Monday for his decision to call a rare early election.

Most analysts had predicted the race would be tight, but few had anticipated it would be this close: Labor and the Liberals were in a virtual tie, raising the possibility that neither will end up with enough seats to form a majority government, resulting in a hung parliament.

That would force the Liberals and Labor to try to strike alliances with independent and minor party lawmakers to form a minority government. If no alliance can be forged, the government could end up calling yet another election—a possibility sure to frustrate politically weary Australians who have endured five changes of prime ministers in as many years.