Tony Abbott is no longer the Australian prime minister after he lost a Liberal leadership ballot that sees him being replaced by Malcolm Turnbull, a former merchant banker.
The center-right Liberal party voted 54 – 44 in favor of Turnbull against Abbott at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday reported the ABC.
Before going into the vote, Turnbull said he had been under sustained pressure to put his name forward for the top job.
“It is clear enough that the Government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. It is not the fault of individual ministers,” Turnbull said reported the ABC.
Speaking to the press, after the vote, Turnbull said he’d lead a “thoroughly Liberal government” committed to freedom, the individual and the market.
See Turnbull and Julie Bishop, who will be his deputy, addressing the press below:
The former Communications Minister described his vision for the country.
“We need to have in this country, and we will have now, an economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face,” Turnbull told press.
“Describes the way in which we can handle those challenges, seize those opportunities and does so in a manner that the Australian people understand so that we are seeking to persuade rather than seeking to lecture,” he said.
“The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative. We can’t be defensive, we can’t futureproof ourselves,'” he said.
“We have to recognize that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility in change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it.”
Turnbull stated he will not call for an early election and that he is currently working on the assumption that parliament will run its full term which will mean no election for at least a year.
Prior to politics the multi-millionaire Turnbull was a lawyer and then an investment banker. See this video below (produced just prior to the announcement) for an overview of Turnbull’s political career:
But Abbot’s ousting has come with its fair share of critics, some within the Liberals, who bemoan that what has occurred was something only the opposition Australian Labor Party is meant to do.
“This act by Malcolm Turnbull is one of gross disloyalty, extreme egotism and he is, without a doubt, the Kevin Rudd of the Liberal Party,” former Victorian Liberal premier Jeff Kennett told ABC News 24.
Kennett said Turnbull was not a team player.
“He might be smart, he might be wealthy but the one thing he never has been and never will be, he’s never been a team man and teams win, individuals don’t,” Kennett said.
Turnbull had earlier lost the Liberal party leadership way back in 2009 against Abbot by a single vote when the party was in opposition. Abbot only served as Australia’s prime minister for two years.
See a review of Tony Abbott’s time leading Australia below: