Australia's opposition leader slams PM again over Afghan trip

09:51, October 12, 2010      

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Australian federal opposition leader Tony Abbott slammed Prime Minister Julia Gillard again over Afghan trip on Tuesday, saying the federal Labor Party was expert at "machiavellian bastardy".

Abbott said he was the victim of a "carefully laid political ambush" over his visit to Afghanistan.

"The prime minister was under absolutely no misunderstanding about my plans and intention to visit the troops and that's why this suggestion that I was not interested was just so wrong," Abbott told Macquarie Radio.

"It was, I think, a carefully laid political ambush, that's essentially what it was."

"There is no doubt about it, when it comes to machiavellian bastardy, the Labor Party are world champions," he said.

"I do my best to counter it but I think when it comes to that sort of business it's very hard to beat the Australian Labor Party, because these guys are experts," he added.

Abbott made the comments after the latest Newspoll showed Gillard has increased her lead as preferred prime minister.

Gillard has 52 percent support as preferred prime minister, up two points from a poll four weeks ago, compared to 31 percent for Abbott, which was down three points.

Abbott on Monday returned from Afghanistan accusing her of deliberately keeping quiet his plans to visit Afghanistan to gain political leverage.

"This is the tragedy that here we have troops in Afghanistan who are doing a very good job under very tough circumstances and they don't deserve to have all this political argy-bargy started by the prime minister clouding public perceptions of their mission, " he said.

Source: Xinhua


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