Australian PM calls leadership ballot

2013-03-21 08:59
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Canberra - The Australian government plunged into crisis with Prime Minister Julia Gillard caving in to building pressure and calling a leadership ballot of her ruling Labour party for later on Thursday.

Her decision follows senior cabinet minister Simon Crean openly calling for the move with Gillard lagging badly in opinion polls just six months out from national elections and rampant leadership speculation.

"I have determined that there will be a ballot for the leadership at 16:30 today. In the meantime, take your best shot," she told parliament.

She added that the vote of Labour parliamentarians would also be for the deputy leadership.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who was brutally ousted by Gillard in mid 2010, was expected to step forward as her main challenger, but was yet to make his position clear.

He resigned as foreign minister and challenged Gillard for the leadership in February 2012, but lost 71-31 and has since repeatedly pledged not to do so again.

Crean, another former Labour leader and a party elder, cranked up the pressure on Gillard earlier in the day, siding with Rudd and saying the "stalemate has to end" to prevent the party from imploding.

"Something needs to be done to break this deadlock, to resolve the issue once and for all," he told reporters in a second hastily-called press conference of the day in Canberra.

"I am asking her to call a spill [vote] of all leadership positions."

Crean, who warned the leadership speculation was "killing" the party, said he would stand for the deputy leader role, currently held by Wayne Swan.

Media reforms

Crean met with Gillard on Wednesday evening and again Thursday to inform her of his decision, and said if she won the ballot he would resign.

Asked if she could win the election, Crean said: "The Labour party can win the election."

While Rudd has repeatedly pledged not to make another attempt on the leadership his supporters have been campaigning behind the scenes and Crean said he must declare his intentions.

"He has got no option but to run," Crean said.

"I don't want any more games, I'm sick to death of it, it's about time he stood up and instead of having his camp leak things, actually have the courage of his conviction and his belief.

Gillard has been dogged by the speculation for weeks, with rumours fuelled by a government decision to try and introduce media reforms which the industry has united to fiercely oppose.

Reports said the government was expected to withdraw its media reform bills from parliament on Thursday in what would be a crushing failure for Gillard.

Some ministers have stressed their loyalty to her, but reports have said any leadership vote between the two would be tight.

Gillard became prime minister in mid 2010 when she ousted Rudd, who at the time had lost the support of powerful factional leaders.

She called an election which she failed to win outright from the surprised public, gaining power only after cobbling together a coalition with a Greens MP and several rural independents to form a majority in the lower house.

Read more on:    julia gillard  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

DA chatting up EFF ahead of elections

The DA in Gauteng is flirting with the Economic Freedom Fighters ahead of the elections, in what could end up as a coalition of strange bedfellows.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia C3

The Nokia C3 Features a 2+ Megapixel Camera, A2DP, Bluetooth,...

From R1175.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.