News / Asia

Opposition Wins in Australia National Election

Australia's conservative leader Tony Abbott gestures as he claims victory in Australia's federal election during an election night function in Sydney, Sept. 7, 2013.
Australia's conservative leader Tony Abbott gestures as he claims victory in Australia's federal election during an election night function in Sydney, Sept. 7, 2013.
VOA News
Australia's conservative opposition swept to power Saturday in a landslide election victory, ending six years of turbulent Labor Party rule.

Observers say the win for Tony Abbott’s opposition Liberal-National coalition reflects frustrations by Australians with Labor Party infighting and problems with the nation's economy. Abbott, on Saturday, declared Australia "under new management."

"I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy, and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to you, the Australian people," he said.

The election was held just three months after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ousted Australia's first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, in a party leadership challenge intended to better position Labor for the national vote.

But with more than 95 percent of the vote counted, the Australian Electoral Commission showed the Liberal/National coalition with 88 seats in the 150-member House of Representatives to Labor's 57.

Rudd conceded defeat Saturday, saying he had given the election his all.

"A short time ago, I telephoned Tony Abbott to concede defeat at these national elections," he said. "As prime minister of Australia I wish him well now in the high office of prime minister of this country. Therese and I wish he, Margie and their family well in coping with the stresses and strains of high office that lie ahead. We know a little bit of what that is like.''

Rudd also announced that he would step down as Labor leader.

The campaign had been dominated by concerns about the economy, asylum seekers and climate change.

Unemployment in Australia has been creeping upward, and both parties tried to convince voters that they can guarantee future economic prosperity.

Both candidates had also proposed tough immigration policies to discourage asylum seekers from sailing into Australian waters to claim shelter.

But Abbott has promised that his government's first action will be to repeal an unpopular tax on the country's biggest polluters, which he blames for pushing up domestic power bills.

Voting is compulsory in Australia.  More than 14 million people are listed on electoral rolls, but authorities estimate about a half-million 18- to 24-year-old Australians have never registered to vote, suggesting widespread apathy among young people about domestic politics.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: GOPAL KRISHNA from: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
September 09, 2013 6:20 AM
Kevin Rudd very rudely removed Julia Gillard, whowas doing a better job than him.
He was a greedy person as he wanted to occupy the PM's post. Due to this move, the Labour Party was dismantled. And now he says he wants to quit as the leader of the party. By right, he should do a SWOT analysis of his partiy's performance and rectify the situation, unify the members and above all 'ask for pardon' from the very persons he 'hurt' on the way to the PM's post. After 'uniting and strengthening the party' he should quit. He now knows that the PM's post is not a bed of roses!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid