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Australian PM facing leadership challenge

 FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 file photo, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard holds a press conference after winning a leadership challeng...

Australia Politics

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 file photo, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard holds a press conference after winning a leadership challeng...

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard faces a leadership challenge after senior Labor Party lawmaker Simon Crean called for a ballot as the party struggles to boost support ahead of a September election.

"Something must be done to resolve the issue once and for all", Crean said, confirming he would run for the deputy leadership of the party and urged former leader Kevin Rudd to put his name forward for the leadership.

Speculation about a challenge to Gillard intensified in recent weeks after she announced Sept. 14 as the election date and polls forecast that Labor under Rudd, who was ousted by Gillard in a June 2010 party coup, would win.

Gillard has confirmed a caucus meeting for 4:30 p.m. local time to allow a spill for leadership. "Take your best shot." she said.

While Rudd enjoys greater support than Gillard among the general public, he faces antipathy from Labor’s senior ranks over his leadership style. Rudd has remained on the backbench since resigning as foreign minister to challenge Gillard last year.

A Newspoll survey of 1,143 people published March 12 in the Australian newspaper showed a Rudd-led Labor getting 56 percent support on a two-party preferred basis and the opposition under Tony Abbott getting 44 percent.


Updated : 2021-04-17 10:45 GMT+08:00