SYDNEY – Australians woke up on Sunday in front of the new Prime Minister in Anthony Albanese, the leader of the center-left Labor Party, whose rise to the top position in the country from raising social housing for a single mother with a disability pension is said to reflect changes in the country. .
The 59-year-old career politician, who called himself the only candidate with a “non-Anglo-Celtic name” who ran for prime minister for 121 years of office, referred to his modest upbringing in inner Sydney. the suburb of Camperdown, thanking voters for making him the 31st leader in the country.
“It says a lot about our great country that the son of a single mother who was a pensioner with a disability who grew up in public housing on the road to Camperdown may stand before you today as Prime Minister of Australia,” Albanese said. a cheerful supporter after dismissing Scott Morrison from office to end nine years of conservative rule.
“Every parent wants more for the next generation than before. Mom dreamed of a better life for me. And I hope that my life’s journey will inspire Australians to reach for the stars, ”he said.
It is unclear whether the Albanese party will be able to form a majority government, or whether it should count on the support of more independent and insignificant party lawmakers who won seats in Saturday’s election. Australia.
As the vote count continues for many days, one of the prospects that has emerged is that Albanese may need to be sworn in as acting prime minister to attend the Quad summit. in Tokyo on Tuesday with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishido and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Biden, who asked about his message to Albanese before heading to South Korea on Sunday to head to Tokyo, said: “I’m looking forward to meeting him and Quad.”
Biden also said he called Albanese.
An expert on the constitutional law of the Australian National University, Professor Donald Rottwell, said that the Governor-General of Australia, a representative of the ultimate head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, “would be ready to swear in Albanian as” acting Prime Minister “by then. until the results are much clearer. “
Albanese, speaking to reporters Sunday morning, simply said he would be among the “five people who will be sworn in tomorrow (Monday)” before coming to the Quad meeting and then returning to Australia on Wednesday when “we proceed to affairs. ” Among the four colleagues he mentioned were lawmakers intending to join key financial portfolios, and his deputy head.
The election was a clear rebuke to Australia’s traditional two-party system, both Labor and the heavily defeated Conservative coalition led by Liberal Prime Minister Morrison. Major parties cast their votes for marginalized parties and independents, including in many places considered Labor or coalition strongholds.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Labor on Sunday afternoon needed 76 seats in the lower house, the House of Representatives, to run on its own.
The Liberal National Coalition was ahead of just 52 points, well below the 76 in the 2019 poll. Analysts described the outcome as a brutal departure from Morrison and his team in addressing many issues over his three-year term, including climate, COVID-19, women’s rights, political integrity and natural disasters such as forest fires and floods.
A total of 15 seats were declared for independent or minor party candidates. Three of them were from the Green Party, focused on the environment, and 12 – from non-aligned politicians, and up to nine of them were so-called independents.
On a new wave in Australian politics reddish independents are being sold as a greener hue than the Liberal Party’s traditional blue color, and they want more decisive government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia than proposed by the government or Labor.
Most of their successful candidates are women, and their rise is seen in part as a rejection of Morrison for addressing gender issues, including sexual harassment scandals that have shaken parliament over his last three years.
While Labor will form a majority or minority government, both major parties have lost ground: support for the coalition has fallen by more than 6% since the 2019 election, and Labor has fallen by about 1.2% as of Sunday morning.
The Albanian has promised to unite Australians, increase investment in social services and “end climate wars”.
Speaking to reporters while walking a dog in his constituency on Sunday morning, he called for a more cooperative approach to parliamentary affairs – perhaps inevitable if Labor cannot form a majority government – and described his victory as a “really big moment”.
“It’s an important moment in my life, but what I want it to be is a great moment for the country,” he said. “I want to change the country. I want to change the way politics works in this country. “
Green leader Adam Bandt agreed, saying his party wants to work with the next government to “solve the climate crisis” and that the “crisis of inequality”, he said, threatens Australia.
“Liberals have gone back, Labor has gone back,” he told reporters. “More people have turned to the Greens than ever before … because we said politics needs to be done differently.”
Albanese, who revealed in a 2016 interview that he found his biological father in Italy in 2009, four years before his death, said his last name and the name of new Senate Prime Minister Penny Wong, who is of Chinese descent, reflect modern, reusable cultural Australia.
“I think it’s good … someone with a non-Anglo-Celtic name is a leader in the House of Representatives, and someone with a name like Wong is the leader of the government in the Senate,” he said.
Labor has promised more financial assistance and a reliable social safety net as Australia struggles with the highest inflation since 2001 and rising house prices.
The party also plans to raise the minimum wage, and on the foreign policy front has proposed setting up a Pacific Defense School to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence in Solomon Islands on the threshold of Australia.
He wants to combat climate change by more ambitiously reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.
Morrison, who became prime minister after an internal party coup in 2018, has said he will step down as Liberal leader.
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