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Australian Labor Party wins election, Kevin Rudd to be next PM
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10:34, November 25, 2007

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Australia's largest political party Labor won the general election on Saturday and its leader Kevin Rudd will be the country's 26th prime minister.

It is the third time that Labor has won from opposition since the World War II.

Kevin Rudd (L, front), leader of the Labor Party, leaves after he votes at a polling station in Brisbane, Australia, Nov. 24, 2007. About 13.6 million voters went to the polls on Saturday to elect the country's 42nd parliament. (Xinhua Photo)

The victory has also completed a Labor stranglehold of federal and state seats across the country for the first time in Australia's history.

The count of vote continues as Labor has already crossed the line of 76 seats which empowers a party to form a government, according to preliminary outcome of the vote count.

Outgoing Prime Minister John Howard has conceded defeat after 11 and half years in power.

Shortly after Howard's speech in Sydney late Saturday night, Rudd claimed victory for Labor, Australia's oldest and biggest political party.

Rudd, 50, pledged to begin work immediately to implement Labor's election promises on education, climate change, workplaces laws and hospitals.

"We have put before the Australian people a plan...To start building a world-class education system. To embrace the long-term funding needs of our public hospital system," Rudd said during his speech in Brisbane, capital of the state of Queensland, his home state.

"To act and act with urgency on the great challenges of climate change and water. To build a 21st century infrastructure for a 21st century economy and to get the balance right between fairness and flexibility in the workplaces of the nation," he said.

Meanwhile, Rudd said he looks forward to "a working partnership" with Australia's ally, the United States, and partners across Asia and the Pacific as well as in Europe.

The fate of the seat of Sydney's Bennelong is still unclear, with the vote count still going on as Howard, the candidate of the ruling Coalition, is trailing Labor candidate Maxine McKew on primary votes.

The situation has prompted the talk that Howard may lose the seat which he has held since 1974, putting him in danger of becoming the only second Australian prime minister to lose his own seat while in office, after Stanley Bruce in 1929.

About 13.6 million voters chose from 1,421 candidates for all the 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 of the 76-member Senate.

Source: Xinhua

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