Australian PM Turnbull survives leadership challenge

Rodiano Bonacci
Agosto 21, 2018

Mr Dutton has resigned as Australia's Immigration Minister today after losing a leadership challenge against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Despite his party's lead in opinion polls, Shorten has consistently trailed Turnbull as preferred prime minister.

"The result of that ballot was Mr Turnbull who was elected leader of the Liberal Party by a margin of 48-35, with Peter Dutton as the other candidate", she said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says it's too early to say whether the resignation of Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will have any effect on trans-Tasman policy.

Dutton, a former police officer who ran a powerful department that oversees the country's domestic spy service, border force and national police, quit the cabinet and moved to the backbench.

It was not immediately clear whether Turnbull will accept the resignations.

If the policy paralysis and poor opinion polls continue, Turnbull could call an election before the new parliamentary session, or he looks bound to face another challenge.

The vote this morning confirms Mr Dutton has the backing of a significant group in the party room - mostly conservatives - to replace Mr Turnbull as PM. One lawmaker abstained and another was away on sick leave.

Australia has gone through an extraordinary period of political instability since Prime Minister John Howard lost power in 2007 after more than 11 years in office. Ousting Turnbull would have been the sixth leadership change since then.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has survived a challenge to his leadership by a senior government colleague.

If just seven more Liberal MPs switched their support to Mr Dutton, he would have the numbers to seize the leadership.

Turnbull made the announcement Monday, telling reporters that the National Energy Guarantee, a policy bill outlining the targets, would not be introduced in the House of Representatives, citing a lack of support, according to The New York Times.

Before the leadership ballot, frontbencher and Turnbull supporter Christopher Pyne accused those stoking leadership tensions as coward.

"Any of us in public life are absolutely determined to do the best thing we can by our country, and Bill Shorten would be a disastrous Prime Minister". Treasurer Scott Morrison would act as interim home affairs minister, Turnbull said.

Nick Economou, a political analyst at Monash University in Melbourne, believes lawmakers are abandoning Turnbull because they fear he will lead them to a crushing defeat in the elections.

The concession avoided the most conservative government lawmakers voting against the legislation in Parliament, openly undermining his authority.

Some lawmakers including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott argue the government should be focusing on cutting electricity prices instead of cutting emissions.

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