Australian PM faces leadership challenge

Canberra, Sep 14 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is being challenged for the leadership by senior cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull, the media reported on Monday.

Turnbull on Monday resigned from Cabinet in an attempt to force a leadership ballot, ABC reported.

“I met with the prime minister and advised him that I would be challenging him for the leadership of the Liberal Party,” Turnbull said.

“Now this is not a decision that anyone could take lightly. I have consulted with many, many colleagues, many Australians, many of our supporters in every walk of life. This course of action has been urged on me by many people over a long period of time.”

“We need a different style of leadership. We need a style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence, that explains these complex issues,” he said.

However, Abbott dismissed leadership speculation during a media event in South Australia and expressed confidence in his position and denied speculation he was on thin ice with his party as “gossip” and “games”.

“My job is to do what the public elected me to do two years ago and that is to govern effectively every day for three years and then submit myself to the judgment of the people,” Abbott said.

Turnbull was opposition leader before he was unseated by Abbott.

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