- Elections were held in Australia to determine whether Albanese will control a majority in Parliament
- Albanese had been in coalition with predecessor Scott Morrison under 3 PMs for 9 years
- Albanese was sworn into office by Governor-General David Hurley
Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the new Australian Prime Minister on Monday. The development came ahead of a Tokyo summit, while vote counting continued to determine whether he will control a majority in a Parliament that is demanding tougher action on climate change.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s center-left Labor Party ousted predecessor Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition at Saturday’s election. The coalition had been in power under three prime ministers for nine years.
“I want to lead a government that has the same sentiment of optimism and hope that I think defines the Australian people,” Albanese said in his hometown of Sydney before flying to the national capital Canberra to be sworn in.
Albanese, who describes himself as the first-ever candidate for the office of prime minister with a “non-Anglo Celtic name” and Malaysian-born Penny Wong, Australia’s first foreign minister to be born overseas, was sworn into office by Governor-General David Hurley before the pair flew to Tokyo for a security summit on Tuesday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Meanwhile, Richard Marles was also sworn in as the Deputy Prime Minister and will act as prime minister while Albanese is in Japan. Katy Gallagher and Jim Chalmers were sworn into economic ministries.
Morrison’s decision to resign as prime minister during the early vote counting enabled Hurley, who represents Australia’s head of state, British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, to appoint his replacement without evidence that Albanese can control a majority of seats in parliament’s lower chamber where governments are formed.
Australia’s two major parties, Labor and the conservative Liberal Party, bled votes to independents and fringe parties in Saturday’s election, continuing a trend of dissatisfaction with the political establishment.
Terri Butler, who would have been the new government’s environment minister, was replaced by Max Chandler-Mather, of the climate-focused Greens party that now holds as least three seats in the house, two more than in the last parliament.
Albanese had been the government’s chief negotiator with its outside supporters in the house during those three years and was praised for his collegial approach.
The previous government had stuck with the same commitment they made at the Paris Agreement in 2015: 26 per cent to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The Greens’ 2030 target is 75 per cent.
(With inputs from AP)
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