Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Australia's Malcolm Turnbull survives leadership challenge

UPDATE 1-Australia weakens commitment to climate accord after government fractures Australia PM backS away from climate targets
Eleanor Moreno | 21 August, 2018, 04:56

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has narrowly survived a leadership spill against Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton by 48 to 35 votes after a sudden challenge on Tuesday morning.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ditched plans for the country to reach emissions targets aimed at combatting climate change.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, a key moderate and Turnbull ally, has been up on Sky News urging colleagues not to challenge the leader. He called a surprise snap leadership vote on Tuesday, before a spill could be called on him by a challenger.

Mr Dutton resigned from Cabinet after the vote and will move to the backbench, triggering a ministerial reshuffle. Climate groups anxious that the National Energy Guarantee would not do enough to combat climate change.

Energy policy, Pauline Hanson and Tony Abbott are all contributing factors to Turnbull's woes, Professor Jennifer Curtin says.

Abbott was then unseated in a party coup by Turnbull in 2015.

Australia's election is set to be held in the middle of next year.

"The government is hopelessly divided, it is at war with itself", she said. Rudd and Labor lost the election as expected.


But the move has failed to silence conservative critics within the Coalition.

The Prime Minister has seen his support crumble in recent days, forcing him to completely ditch his National Energy Guarantee (NEG) in an attempt to appease nervous MPs in his party who want him gone. Once again, the lesson of politics is clear.

The prime minister won the vote 48-35, Liberal Party whip Nola Marino told reporters.

"He (the PM) thanked the colleagues for their support". I think he probably still is.

While Coalition marginal seat holders have publicly supported Mr Turnbull, some privately lobbied in favour of Mr Dutton to improve the party's chances in Queensland.

Mr Dutton, who was the Home Affairs Minister, has now stepped down from that frontbench role.

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce yesterday backed Mr Turnbull to remain as leader and welcomed the Government's changes on the contentious energy policy.

"I'm certain he is telling the truth", he told the Nine Network.

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