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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More