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Australian former PM says to join federal election campaign

08-05-2010 15:08 BJT

CANBERRA, Aug 5 (Xinhua) -- Australian former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday accepted a request from Prime Minister Julia Gillard to join the federal election campaign.

Addressing the media in Brisbane on Thursday afternoon, Rudd said he would meet Gillard on Saturday and join the campaign on Sunday if his health permitted.

Rudd said while things had been difficult for him after he has been ousted from office in June, he could not let Opposition Leader Tony Abbott "slide" into the prime ministership.

"The truth is this. It has been a very difficult time for our family," Rudd said in a lengthy statement to journalists.

"[But] I can't be silent while knowing Abbott has opposed those measures which kept Australia out of recession."

The former prime minister also thanked all those who had wished him well since he underwent surgery to remove his gall bladder last week.

"This turned out to be a little more painful than I had anticipated ... and the recovery a little slower than I had thought," Rudd told ABC News.

Rudd on Wednesday night broke his silence on ABC Radio for the first time since he was dramatically ousted just six weeks ago to declare his support for Gillard and Labor's re-election cause.

Abbott has sought to capitalize on the issues saying Rudd's presence on the campaign trail will only serve to remind voters of Labor's "political thuggery".

The Australian general election date was set on Aug. 21.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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