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Turnbull Ousted as Australia PM After Turbulent Week

Turnbull Ousted as Australia PM After Turbulent Week Turnbull Ousted as Australia PM After Turbulent Week

Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull has been ousted as prime minister following a week of chaos in the capital, as the nation watched the ruling Liberal Party tear itself apart over ideological differences.

His replacement is former treasurer Scott Morrison, one of the architects of Australia’s tough immigration policy, who is now the country’s sixth prime minister in just over a decade, CNN reported.

The main challenger to Turnbull, former home affairs minister and factional conservative Peter Dutton, was defeated by Morrison 45 votes to 40 in a closed door leadership ballot shortly after midday local time, the party’s whip Nola Marino announced.

Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg was elected deputy leader.

The events on Friday followed days of speculation and confusion over whether Turnbull could maintain his grip on the premiership in the face of a conservative uprising.

His position was thrown into doubt on Monday as a right wing faction in the party refused to support his climate change policy. Despite backpedaling on the bill, Turnbull found his leadership in crisis by Tuesday.

“There was a determined insurgency from a number of people both in the party room and backed by voices, powerful voices, in the media,” Turnbull said on Friday after the news of Morrison’s ascension was known.

The former prime minister attempted to delay the ballot as long as possible, imposing demands such as written evidence he had lost the support of his party, but in the end a vote was called for Friday.

Speaking on Friday afternoon, Morrison promised to “bring the Parliament back together.”

Party members belonging to the Liberals’ conservative faction had called for changes in the government’s policies, including greater investment in the country’s coal sector as well as policies to lower Australians’ electricity bills.

Morrison’s election to the top of the Liberal Party is only the latest succession in a revolving door of leadership changes in the Australian parliament in the past decade.

Since 2007, no Australia prime minister has faced two consecutive elections.

 

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