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Australian leaders begin negotiations

08-23-2010 10:09 BJT

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The leaders of Australia's two major political parties have begun negotiating with independent and Greens MPs in the hope of forming a government.

That's because it's looking more and more likely that Australia will have a hung parliament for the first time in 70 years.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott both initiated talks with three independents in the House of Representatives as well as the Greens party in a bid to secure their votes.

Both leaders' parties didn't win enough seats at Saturday's election to govern in their own right. So, they'll need to seek the support of a some independent or Greens MP's to make up the numbers to form a government.

Gillard refused to say what was discussed in her meeting in Melbourne.

Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister, said, "I will lead the negotiations and I will be assisted by the deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan. Negotiations will be conducted with propriety, with integrity and with diligence. This is obviously an extremely close election. It is clear that neither party has earned the right to govern in it's own right. It now appears clear that Labor has won the two party vote. That means that a majority of Australians voted yesterday, prefer a Labor Government. I think this a critical fact to weigh in the coming days."

Gillard says Labor would be better able to get its legislative agenda through the Senate, where major parties rarely hold majorities.

But, Tony Abbott, who doubts climate change and rules out ever taxing polluters for greenhouse gas emissions, says Labor has proved it is unstable, even with a clear majority.

Tony Abbott, Australian Opposition Leader, said, "When the government lost its majority, it also lost its legitimacy. The one unambiguous fact to emerge from yesterday's election, is that there are about half a million more votes for the coalition than for the Labor party. The important thing is that Australia now has competent and stable government for the next three years. It is almost inconceivable that any Labor government emerging from this election could deliver competent and stable government."

Depending on a few seats with votes still to be counted, Australia's election could result in a hung parliament.

Greens leader Senator Bob Brown and Adam Brandt, who is the first Green to be elected in the House of Representatives, will likely side with Labor.

It could be days before Australians know who will govern them for the next three years.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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