Australia Gets New Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison has become Australia’s new prime minister after Malcolm Turnbull was forced out by party rivals in a bruising leadership contest.
Mr Turnbull had been under pressure from poor polling and what he described as an “insurgency” by conservative MPs.
Mr Morrison, the treasurer, won an internal ballot 45-40 over former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton – who had been Mr Turnbull’s most vocal threat.
Mr Turnbull is the fourth Australian PM in a decade to be ousted by colleagues.
“It has been such a privilege to be the leader of this great nation. I love Australia. I love Australians,” he said on Friday.
With an election looming, MPs were nervous about the government’s poor opinion polling and recent by-election defeats.
Last week, a row over energy policy ignited long-existing tensions between Mr Turnbull, a moderate, and his party’s conservative wing.Mr Dutton, a conservative, then unsuccessfully challenged Mr Turnbull on Tuesday, but his narrow defeat only stoked further discord.
Mr Morrison entered the race after Mr Turnbull lost key backers. After a majority of MPs called for a leadership “spill”, Mr Turnbull agreed to step down.
To further complicate matters, Mr Turnbull has signalled he would resign from parliament, which would force a by-election and potentially put the government’s one-seat majority at risk and force the new premier to call early elections.
However, Mr Morrison, who was sworn in on Friday, told reporters there were no plans to do this any time soon.
His government, he said, would be in place by next week