Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s freshly-resigned Communications Minister, has toppled Tony Abbott in Liberal leadership ballot and is now the country’s prime minister.
Turnbull, Abbott’s long-term rival, won a secret party room vote by 54 to 44, announced by Liberal Party Whip Scott Buchholz.
“There were two ballots conducted; one ballot for leader, one ballot for deputy leader,” Buchholz said. For the leadership, “Malcolm Turnbull was successful on 54, Tony Abbott on 44 and one was informal.”
On Monday, Turnbull, while resigning from the cabinet, asked Abbott to step down, declaring a challenge to Abbott for the Liberal party leadership, and therefore leadership of the country.
Turnbull said that Abbott “has not been capable of providing the economic leadership,”and he “has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.”
Turnbull, 60, led the Liberal Party until 2009, when he was defeated in a leadership vote by Abbott.
Abbott’s Liberal Party-led coalition has a total of 90 MPs in the 150-member House of Representatives, including 58 members of the Liberal Party. According to the Australian constitution, the next federal election for the House of Representatives, the main legislative chamber of parliament, must be held by January 14, 2017 at the latest.