Labor ends nine years of Conservative government in Australia | International
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Opposition Labor leader Anthony Albanese will be Australia’s next prime minister, after beating hitherto incumbent Scott Morrison in the election this Saturday after nine years in office. “I think people want to come together, look for common interest, look at that feeling of a common purpose. We have already had enough of divisions, what the people want is the unity of the country and I am willing to lead that path”, indicated the elected head of government, the son of a single mother and raised in social housing, who will be the first leader of Italian origin in the oceanic nation.
The new prime minister is expected to be sworn in immediately and immediately travel to Japan to speak on Tuesday alongside the heads of government of India, Narendra Modi, and Japan, Fumio Kishida, and US President Joe Biden. , at the summit of the Quad, the informal alliance between Tokyo, New Delhi, Canberra and Washington to counter China’s rise in the Indo-Pacific region.
Morrison has admitted his defeat and, after calling his rival to congratulate him, has announced his resignation as head of the Liberal Party. With 55% of the votes already counted, Labor has 72 seats out of the 76 needed to win an absolute majority in the 151-seat lower house. About half of the 17 million Australians called to the polls chose to vote by mail or early, and it is estimated that the counting of those votes could take weeks.
Fires and climate change
The Liberal-National Conservative coalition scores 52, in what looks like a punishing vote in cities and western regions, hit hard in recent years by some of the worst fires and floods in the country’s history.
On the contrary, parties in favor of measures to combat climate change – a position radically opposed to that of a Morrison in favor of coal exploitation – have obtained good results (at least ten seats), in what seems to have favored the labour. The so-called “blue-green independents” (referring to the blue color symbol of the Liberal Party, and the green of its electoral programs) have seized at least three seats from Morrison’s coalition in constituencies traditionally loyal to the Liberal Party.
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During the electoral campaign, Albanese Labor had promised to cut emissions by 43% by 2030, while the coalition until now in the Government had set a goal of a reduction between 26% and 28%. In both cases, less than what scientists consider necessary and what the Greens and the independent parties claimed.
In addition to climate change, another big issue in the election campaign was China. Morrison has headed the mandate in which ties with Beijing have been the worst since the two states established diplomatic relations in 1972. The prime minister signed last year the creation of the Aukus (United Kingdom, United States and Australia) military alliance to respond to the growing influence of the Asian colossus in the region. His detractors accused him of stirring up the threat from Beijing to galvanize his conservative base, in a country where 5% of the population is of Chinese origin.
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