Australian Opposition Leader rejects second leaders' debate

13:49, August 03, 2010      

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Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on Tuesday refused a second leaders' debate proposed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

On Monday night, Gillard told the Seven network she would be willing to have another debate on Sunday, so long as it focused on the economy.

But Sunday is the day of the Opposition's official campaign launch. And Abbott has rejected the proposal, saying he has already set his schedule on the basis that the prime minister would only participate in one debate.

"I don't see why I should abandon plans to visit electorates around Australia because the prime minister's campaign is in trouble and she now thinks that she might be able to rescue it by personally targeted attacks," the Liberal leader said in a statement.

Gillard has previously rejected the opposition leader's proposal for two more head-to-head contests.

"I'm happy to debate Tony Abbott on the economy but I've noticed Tony Abbott is not interested in a debate on the economy," Gillard told 2Day FM radio in Sydney on Tuesday.

"It's not his strong suit. (Former Liberal treasurer) Peter Costello, who knew him well all those years in government, basically said he's bored by economics, he's not interested in it. "

Gillard and Abbott went up against each other at a leaders' debate in Canberra on July 25.

Source: Xinhua


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