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HomeAsia"Non-Anglo Celtic name" becomes the prime minister in 121 years

“Non-Anglo Celtic name” becomes the prime minister in 121 years

Newsman: Australia’s prime minister conceded despite millions of votes left to be counted. Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese promised sharper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while he faces an early foreign policy test in his election victory speech Saturday. But Australia may have another hung parliament.

Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as prime minister after his Labor party clinched its first electoral win since 2007. Country’s center-left opposition party toppled the conservative government after almost a decade in power.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he quickly conceded defeat despite millions of votes yet to be counted because an Australian leader must attend a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Anthony Albanese, who has described himself as the only candidate with a “non-Anglo Celtic name” to run for prime minister in the 121 years that the office has existed, referred to his own humble upbringing in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown.

“It says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mom who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” Albanese said.

“Every parent wants more for the next generation than they had. My mother dreamt of a better life for me. And I hope that my journey in life inspires Australians to reach for the stars,” he added.

Labor has promised more financial assistance and a robust social safety net as Australia grapples with the highest inflation since 2001 and soaring housing prices. It also wants to tackle climate change with a more ambitious 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

The party also plans to increase minimum wages, and on the foreign policy front, it proposed to establish a Pacific defense school to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence on the Solomon Islands on Australia’s doorstep.

Morrison’s Liberal party-led coalition was seeking a fourth three-year term. It held the narrowest of majorities — 76 seats in the 151-member House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government. In early counting on Saturday, the coalition was on track to win 51 seats, Labor 72, 10 were unaligned lawmakers and 18 were too close to call.

The major parties bled votes to fringe parties and independents, which increases the likelihood of a hung parliament and a minority government.

Australia most recent hung parliaments were from 2010-13, and during World War II.

The minor Australian Greens party appeared to have increased its representation from a single seat to three.

The Greens supported a Labor minority government in 2010, and will likely support a Labor administration again if the party falls short of a 76-seat majority.

NEWSMAN
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