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Australia to hold elections on Sept 7

PTI Melbourne | Updated on November 22, 2017 Published on August 04, 2013

Five weeks after he seized the Labor Party leadership, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today set September 7 as the date for the country’s next parliamentary elections amid growing unemployment and budget deficit.

“It’s on. A few moments ago I saw the governor-general and asked that she dissolve this parliament and call the federal election for September 7,” Rudd said in an email to Labor party members.

“Australians now face a choice...And the choice couldn’t be starker,” Rudd said.

Earlier, Rudd flew in to Canberra this afternoon to visit the Governor-General and formally ask Quentin Bryce to issue the writs for a poll.

“The time has come for the Australian people to decide on our nation’s future,” he told the media after arriving back at Parliament House.

The five-week campaign will see Rudd hoping to complete a comeback for the Labor Party after he first assumed the prime minister’ office with his landslide victory over conservative leader John Howard in 2007 polls, which ended suddenly in mid-2010 when his Labor colleagues turned on him and voted in Gillard.

The 55-year-old Chinese-speaking former Beijing diplomat, described Australia as a “truly great” country that was blessed with a strong economy and hard-working and creative people but now faced new challenges ahead.

“This election will be about who the Australian people trust to best lead them through the difficult new economic challenges which now lie ahead.”

“The Australian people therefore face a real choice for this election.”

The campaign follows Friday’s mini-budget, according to which, the unemployment is expected to hit 6.25 per cent in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

“Softening conditions could force an extra 70,000 Australians out of the workforce as growth slows and Commonwealth revenue collapse by 33.3 billion Australian dollars over the next four years,” The Age said.

Published on August 04, 2013
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