Malcolm Turnbull sworn in as new Australia Prime Minister

Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull comments after an Australian Liberal Party meeting where he has been elected at the new party leader at Parliament House in Canberra, Monday, Sept. 14.

Former banker and businessman Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister on Tuesday, a day after defeating Tony Abbott as Liberal Party leader in a vote.

Turnbull, who has vowed to bring a new style of consultative leadership to Australia, took the oath of office with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove in the nation’s capital Canberra.

He will be the country’s 29th prime minister – and the fourth since 2013 as Australian political parties maintain a brutal tradition of swiftly removing failing leaders.

“I’m filled with optimism and we will be setting out in the weeks ahead… more of those foundations that will ensure our prosperity in the years ahead,” Turnbull told reporters.

After the swearing in by governor-general Peter Cosgrove, the former communications minister was to attend a Liberal Party meeting and then hold his first cabinet session after pledging to run a collaborative and consultative government, in contrast to Abbott’s divisive rule.

“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,” Turnbull added.

He was widely expected to appoint Social Services Minister Scott Morrison as treasurer to sell the new economic vision.

Abbott won power in a general election victory in September 2013 but his first budget proved highly unpopular.

He survived a leadership challenge in February after poor polling and a serious of gaffes ignited a backbench revolt.

But Abbott has since failed to turn around the polls, bolster the economy or stop damaging internal leaks and lost the support of the majority of his party.


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