Hardline Border Security Advocate Scott Morrison Australia's New PM

Sunday, 26 Aug, 2018

Australia's ruling party has elected Treasurer Scott Morrison as the next prime minister in a ballot that continues an era of extraordinary political instability.

During a three-way vote, whoever comes last in the first round will be eliminated with a second round taking place to decide who becomes leader.

Former human services minister Michael Keenan, who switched his allegiance from Malcolm Turnbull to back Mr Dutton, does not expect to be returned to the ministry.

Last night he became the fourth Australian Prime Minister to be ousted in a coup by colleagues in a decade.

Turnbull told reporters after the vote he would leave parliament "not before too long".

A representative from the prime minister's office said Morrison had invited Trump to visit Australia during what was described as a "warm" conversation.

Australia's prime minister says he will quit Parliament now the government has picked a replacement. Given that the government has a one-seat majority, his political retirement would trigger a special election in his Sydney district that could imperil the government.

It is expected that he will adopt progressive economic policies, including a further reform of the tax framework, but will seek to pacify conservatives by backing an immigration cutback and possibly reducing commitments to climate change policies.

"I have been a reforming Liberal prime minister".

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The crisis has started to hit the nation's financial markets, with the Australian dollar weakening as much as 1.5 per cent against the USA dollar on Thursday.

"We affirmed the strength of the relationship between the U.S. and Australia". MR Morrison said the rest of his Cabinet would be sworn in next week.

Turnbull's departure will rub out the Liberal-National coalition's one-seat majority in parliament, at least until a by-election can be held, forcing Morrison to rely on independents. "I relish it", he said after rising to the country's highest political role.

Morrison, himself a polarizing figure, was voted the least-popular choice for prime minister from Liberal leaders in a poll on Wednesday.

"For me, I only ever nominated because I believed I was a better person and a person of greater strength and integrity to lead the Liberal Party", Dutton told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

They backgrounded media supporters at Sky News that a party room meeting was definitely on, that Turnbull was finished, that Mathias Cormann had resigned, that ministers were bailing out left and right, so to speak.

On social issues, Morrison has stood to the right of the more moderate Turnbull, and opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage previous year.

Victorian Liberal MP Tim Wilson said one of the big tasks for the Liberals is to explain to the Australian people why the change of leadership occurred.