Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in Tuesday as Australia’s new prime minister, becoming the country’s fourth leader in just over two years.

Turnbull emerged as leader of the Liberal Party following a surprise party vote late Monday that ousted Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

The 60-year-old ex-banker, lawyer and journalist told reporters he was “filled with optimism” as he headed for his swearing-in ceremony.

“This is a turn of events I did not expect, I have to tell you, but it’s one that I’m privileged to undertake, and one that I’m certainly up to,” said Turnbull.

READ ALSO  Bayelsa Guber: Group denies collapse of ex-PDP chairman

Turnbull has vowed to oversee a less divisive government than the conservative Abbott, who on Tuesday pledged to make the leadership transition as smooth as possible.

“There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping. I have never leaked or back grounded against anyone and I certainly won’t start now,” Abbott said.

READ ALSO  Chelsea's Matic on Mourinho's wish list

The outgoing leader also decried the “poll-driven panic” he said has produced a “revolving-door prime ministership” and a “febrile media culture” that he claims “rewards treachery.”

Abbott, who was elected in September 2013, has seen his popularity ratings suffer in recent months, thanks in part to a series of internal leaks, unpopular budget cuts, and an inability to spur economic growth.

Turnbull differs from his predecessor on several key issues: most notably, he supports gay marriage and more stringent anti-pollution policies. Those differences are expected to be highlighted later this week when Turnbull announces his new cabinet.

READ ALSO  20-year-old man bags 6 months for knife-point phone, ATM card robbery

The shakeup is expected to improve the chances of the Liberal Party, which faces a tough challenge from the opposition Labor Party in elections that are set for next year. Turnbull has for now ruled out early elections.


Loading...
loading...
SHARE