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Australian election too close to call

08-22-2010 12:38 BJT

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In Australia, the Labor Party is currently holding a slight lead against the opposition Coalition, with 75 percent of the votes counted, in what has become one of the country's closest contests in living memory.

It's down to the wire.

Australian voters had the choice between giving their first female prime minister her own election mandate or returning a conservative government to office after spending just three years in opposition.

By the end of Saturday, with more than 75 percent of the votes counted, the results were too close to call.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard will remain the caretaker leader in the meantime, saying she hopes to form the next government.

Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister said "Obviously this is too close to call. There are many seats where the result is undecided and where it will take a number of days of counting to determine the result."

But the leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, says he will immediately begin negotiations with independents to form a government.

Tony Abbott, Australian Opposition Leader said "The Liberal and National parties are back in business, we stand ready to govern and we stand ready to offer the Australian people stable, predictable and competent government."

There is growing speculation that mainstream parties will need to strike a deal with fringe groups to form a government.

Such a coalition will be the first in Australia in almost 70 years.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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