Australian Labor leader Anthony Albanese has become the country’s 31st prime minister, ending a decade-long “right-wing” alliance monarchy.
Albanese was sworn in at the government headquarters in Canberra by Governor-General David Harley.
Also sworn in were new Secretary of State Richard Marls, new Foreign Minister Penny Wong – born in Malaysia – is the first immigrant to hold the post -, new Treasury Secretary Jean Chalmers and new Justice Secretary Katie Gayka. The remaining portfolios will be covered “temporarily”, the ministers will be named next week, the 59-year-old Albanezi told reporters.
It is not yet clear whether Labor will have a majority of seats in the new federal House of Representatives. As the ballot count continues (it has reached over 70%), they are ahead with 72 seats, while the Liberal / National Party alliance of outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison is heading for 52 seats.
Morrison, a staunch supporter of the coal and gas industries, has announced he will step down as leader of the Liberals. He congratulated Albanezi on acknowledging his defeat on Saturday night, talking about a “difficult night” for his outgoing right-wing government.
Albanezi has promised to fight climate change, fight diversity and promote gender equality.
He swore in and left for Tokyo, where he will attend the Quad summit tomorrow (USA, India, Japan, Australia).