Parliamentary reform squabble continues in Australia

12:37, September 26, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sunday said the federal government is still looking to honor the agreement on parliamentary reform, despite opposition efforts to trash it.

Abbott and Gillard agreed on Sept. 6 to assign a lawmaker to vote along with the winning party to make up for the speaker, who can't vote. Abbott scrapped that deal on Sept. 23, saying it would violate the constitution.

The move has slowed down the government's bid to negotiate the next Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the lower house ahead of parliament re-convening next week.

Gillard has criticized Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for ripping up the agreement on parliamentary reform, following Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Alex Somlyay's decision to step away from the Deputy Speaker's job.

"It's deeply disappointing that Abbott would say yes to parliamentary reform ... then trash it when it doesn't suit him," Gillard told Network Ten on Sunday.

The government is holding firm on its plans to present Harry Jenkins as its candidate for Speaker, a role he has held since 2008.

Manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne said the coalition will make good on the promise to provide a Deputy Speaker should Jenkins win the Speaker's role on Tuesday. But he conceded it will not abide by the agreement to pair votes for the Speaker.

【1】 【2】


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Chinese Navy soldiers hold an evening party marking the upcoming 62nd National Day aboard Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" in the Pacific on Sept. 28, 2011. The Chinese National Day falls on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2011 shows the crowd at the plaza of Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, capital of China. The railway transportation witnessed a travel peak with the approach of the seven-day National Day holidays on Friday. (Xinhua)
  • A man wearing high-heel shoes takes part in the 3rd annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event when men literally walk in women's shoes to raise awareness about ending violence against women, at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, Canada, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows a cargo ship in danger on the sea near Zhuhai City, south China's Guangdong Province. Cargo ship Fangzhou 6 of Qingzhou of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region lost control after water stormed into its cabin due to Typhoon Nesat on the sea near Zhuhai Thursday, leaving 12 crew members in danger. Rescuers rushed to the ship and saved them by using a helicopter. (Xinhua)
  • Actress Gong Li poses for L'Officiel Magazine. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street campaign hold placards as they march in the financial district of New York September 29, 2011. After hundreds of protesters were denied access to some areas outside the New York Stock Exchange on September 17, demonstrators set up a rag-tag camp three blocks away. Zuccotti Park is a campground festooned with placards and anti-Wall Street slogans. The group is adding complaints of excessive police force against protesters and police treatment of ethnic minorities and Muslims to its grievances list, which includes bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Hot Forum Discussion