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Malcolm Turnbull to STAND DOWN if second leadership vote goes ahead

24 August, 2018, 05:12 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • Australian PM rejects Cabinet resignations as new challenge looms

Mr. Turnbull narrowly survived a vote against a senior government colleague on Tuesday, but is now likely to face a second leadership challenge, reports the BBC. The ballot to choose a prime minister is secret, so lawmakers don't have to declare which candidate they voted for.

This sparked a series of tweets, now shared and liked thousands of times, and made him a topic of discussion in Australian politics - with many Twitter users imploring him to come over and take over the prime minister's office himself.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's besieged leadership faced renewed threats on Thursday, after several Liberal Party lawmakers resigned in protest over his premiership.

The question comes down to whether Mr Dutton's stake in a trustee company that operates two childcare centres constitutes a conflict of interest, given the centres receive subsidies that were legislated by the Turnbull government.

If Turnbull steps down, it would result in a by-election that could cost the government its single-seat majority or spur his replacement to immediately call a general election.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Aug. 23, 2018. The leadership crisis saw the government adjourn parliament on Thursday until September.

The internecine Liberal Party strife has been a boon for the opposition Labor Party, who find themselves in the enviable position of having to do little more before the next election than sit back and watch their opponents crumble.

Turnbull would then become the fourth prime minister to be dumped by his or her own party before serving a full three-year term since the revolving door to the prime minister's office started in 2010.

However, he said if his colleagues at the meeting told him they wanted a vote, he would not contest his job and would leave parliament.

"No government in living memory has said: 'It's all too hard".

To put it simply the conservatives slammed the National Energy Guarantee as insufficient to lower power bills, leading Turnbull to go from proposing an energy reduction target of 26 percent to just scrapping the plan altogether in order to save his leadership.

Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek told Parliament said whoever emerged as prime minister should immediately call an election, an outcome that some analysts argue is probable.

Mr Dutton's supporters circulated a petition among Liberal Party politicians to try to force Mr Turnbull to hold a ballot, but they failed to get the minimum 43 signatures required.

Malcolm Turnbull still has a solid lead over Mr Shorten (54 to 46) while it was neck and neck with Scott Morrison, with Mr Shorten ahead by the narrowest margin (50.5 to 49.5). "But I can't ignore reality", Cormann told reporters.

For Dutton it meant he only need to secure another seven votes before he challenged Turnbull again and would this time, with history on his side, win.

Australian media reported on Thursday that Treasurer Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would contest the top job if a spill motion is passed Friday.

"I wish the people of Australia would look at my profile and realize I'm a 30 yr old black man before sending me tweets and DMs", he wrote from his account, @PeterDutton5.

Many were surprised that he only lost by a 48-35 vote since he hadn't started canvassing support in earnest. Some constitutional lawyers say there are areas of doubt.

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    Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said Mr Turnbull's leadership was not under threat. Coincidentally, Turnbull as opposition leader in November 2009 faced a spill motion.


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