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Australian PM survives leadership challenge

Australian PM survives leadership challenge
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Melbourne (PTI): Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday retained the Labor party's top job after political wrangling that ended with a...

leaderMelbourne (PTI): Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday retained the Labor party's top job after political wrangling that ended with a leadership contest where no one stood against her. Gillard was elected unopposed at a meeting of the Labor Caucus following her dramatic announcement to call a leadership ballot as internal unrest mounted in the party ahead of a general election in September. Gillard threw her job open for contest after senior Cabinet Minister Simon Crean asked her to step aside and clear the way for former leader Kevin Rudd to head the minority government. She said that her position as the Labor leader has been emphatically confirmed after Rudd failed to nominate against her in a leadership spill. Gillard said that she was grateful to her colleagues for their continuing support of her as Labor leader, and accepted it with humility and resolve. Her deputy Wayne Swan has also retained his position. Rudd refused to run for the leadership of the party at the meeting. Labor spokesman Chris Hayes said that Gillard was the only candidate for the leadership and Swan was the only candidate for the deputy leadership when the positions were declared vacant. Rudd said that he would honour his previous commitment not to challenge for the Labor leadership unless he was drafted to the role.
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