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Australian PM Abbott ousted by rival

September 14, 2015 7:00 pm

Australia is to have a new prime minister after Tony Abbott was ousted as leader of the centre-right Liberal Party by Malcolm Turnbull.

In the dramatic late night party leadership ballot, Abbott, who had been plagued by poor opinion polls, received 44 votes to Turnbull’s 54.

Turnbull said he assumed that parliament would serve its full term, implying no snap general election.

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The new leader will be Australia’s fourth prime minister since 2013.

The prime minister-elect is expected to be sworn in after Abbott writes to Australia’s governor general and resigns.

Earlier on Monday Abbott had dismissed rumours of a leadership challenge as “Canberra gossip” – only to be voted out by his fellow Liberal MPs.

They also voted for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to remain deputy leader of the party.

Speaking after the result was announced, Turnbull praised his predecessor for his “formidable achievements” as prime minister.

The new party leader said Australia needed to have “the economic vision, a leadership, that explains the great challenges and opportunities we face”.

He said he would lead “a thoroughly Liberal government, committed to freedom, the individual and the market”.

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