Two independents look to make decision on Australian minority gov't this week

13:52, August 29, 2010      

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Two of the key independent members of parliament on Sunday said they think Australia's election deadlock can be broken by the end of the week.

Four independent lawmakers are currently negotiating with Labor and the Coalition over who will form a minority government. Two of those independents, Andrew Wilkie and Tony Windsor, said they aim to make their decision whom to support this week.

"We're entering into a range of meetings this week. I would hope that by the end of the week we should be able to make a decision," Windsor told Channel Ten on Sunday.

He also said there is a small chance Australia will go back to the polls.

"I would say there is probably a 10 percent chance,"Windsor old ABC One's Insiders on Sunday.

Wilkie is also keen to see an outcome, telling Channel Nine that he will make his decision "very soon".

"I'm well aware that stability is very important, there is already a restlessness in the community that it's over a week since the election and we're still to know who is going to govern Australia for the next three years."

Wilkie will meet Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on Monday afternoon and then hold more talks with Prime Minister Julia Gillard immediately thereafter.

Windsor and the two other incumbent independents, Robb Oakeshott and Bob Katter, have acted together so far in negotiations. While the trio said they will make their minds up independently, they presented a list of seven requests to Abbott and Gillard last week.

Wilkie, who on Saturday claimed victory in the Hobart seat of Denison, is also presenting some requests to the leaders, but he has reiterated he will be acting on his own.

Meanwhile, elected Greens' MP Adam Bandt in the seat of Melbourne, who also holds balance of power in Parliament, has declared the party's support to Gillard.

"If you look at the policy platforms, you can see ... we run into the difficulty of (Coalition Leader) Tony Abbott saying there will never be a carbon price," Greens Leader Bob Brown said on Friday.

Counting of Aug. 21 general election votes are still underway by Australia's Electorate Commission.

Source: Xinhua


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