Australian PM pledges to survive new term of minority government

12:57, September 08, 2010      

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Australian Labor Leader Julia Gillard speaks to media confirming victory of the Labor Party to form minority government in Parliament in Canberra, capital of Australia, Sept. 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Bai Xue)

One day after the Aug. 21 election result unveiled, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday said she hopes her new government can run a full three years, despite being only one vote away from losing power.

After 17 days of negotiation, independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor Tuesday revealed their intention to give Labor their crucial votes, meaning the party secured the 76 seats needed to scrape back into power.

The third independent Member of Parliament (MP), Bob Katter, had earlier decided to support the Coalition but it was not enough to install Coalition Leader Tony Abbott as prime minister.

Gillard said she is well aware that she is depending on the support of independent MPs Oakeshott, Windsor, Andrew Wilkie and Greens Adam Bandt, to run government in Parliament.

"I am going to be held to higher standards of accountability than any prime minister in the modern age," Gillard told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Gillard insisted the next election will be in 2013, and she has begun shaping the team that she hopes will get Labor through the next three years.

Meanwhile Windsor warned the Prime Minister's minority Government is so tight that one person changing their mind would cost her the job.

"Well we've got provisions for no confidence if they're not performing well and there could be a change of baton on the floor of the Parliament," Windsor told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

But Windsor said he hopes the Labor minority government survives.

"There is real self-interest in this not for me, but for regional Australia - if this Parliament can be held together there 'll be some enormous benefits accrue to regional Australia," he said.

Gillard is working on a new ministry which she hopes will be sworn in early next week, but can not finalize it until Oakeshott decides if he will accept her offer to be the Minister overseeing the regional portfolio.

Source: Xinhua


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