Video Australia’s prime minister-elect, Malcolm Turnbull, spoke on Monday after Prime Minister Tony Abbott was ousted from power in an internal party ballot.
By MICHELLE INNIS
September 14, 2015
SYDNEY, Australia — Malcolm Turnbull, a former investment banker and lawyer, was poised to become the prime minister of Australia on Monday night after defeating Tony Abbott in a vote of Liberal Party lawmakers.
The vote was the second challenge to Mr. Abbott’s leadership in seven months. He came to power in September 2013.
Mr. Turnbull, 60, is a moderate Liberal whose views, most recently on same-sex marriage, had conflicted with those of Mr. Abbott, 57. The Liberals, despite their name, are the more conservative of Australia’s two major parties.
The new prime minister is likely to be more open to the outside world and less conservative in approach than Mr. Abbott.
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Michael Fullilove, the executive director at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, said that “when it comes to foreign policy issues, he is less Manichean, in the sense of being black and white, less prone to seeing the world through a security prism.”
He said Mr. Turnbull was also more alert to the risks of climate change. And while he would have to convince conservative colleagues of the need for a change in government policy, Dr. Fullilove described him as a “force.”
Mr. Turnbull won the support of 54 of his party colleagues, compared with 44 who voted in favor of Mr. Abbott’s retaining the party leadership.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will remain deputy leader of the Liberal Party. Ms. Bishop secured 70 votes, against 30 votes for her cabinet colleague Kevin Andrews. One lawmaker missed the vote for the leadership position, joining the session in time for the vote for deputy leader.
Mr. Turnbull, in his first news conference as Liberal leader, said that Australia must embrace the challenges it faces and seize the kind of opportunities that sometimes come from disruption.
He promised a leadership that will consult more closely with cabinet ministers and junior lawmakers and will explain and advocate for economic policies.
“This has been a very important, sobering experience today. I am very humbled by it,” said Mr. …Read More