Rudd sworn in as PM -- again

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 27 Juni 2013 | 19.55

KEVIN Rudd has been sworn in as prime minister for the second time, as it appeared likely Australia will go to the polls earlier than planned September 14 election.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce, acting on advice from the solicitor-general, swore in Mr Rudd and his deputy Anthony Albanese in a brief ceremony at Government House in Canberra about 9.45am this morning.

Chris Bowen has been sworn in as Treasurer, replacing former deputy prime minister Wayne Swan who resigned from Cabinet last night.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce wished him well in serving the people of Australia.

Mr Rudd replied: "I will do my absolute best."

As Mr Rudd signed the document sealing his prime ministership, he told Mrs Bryce he did it wrong before.

"Really," Mrs Bryce exclaimed.

Asked how he was feeling, Mr Rudd said: "It's a sunny day in Australia."

All three men were accompanied by their families.

The swearing-in followed Mr Rudd's 57-45 caucus vote victory over Julia Gillard, who ousted him in June 2010 and narrowly held on to power with the backing of the Greens and independents after the 2010 election.

Ms Bryce secured an assurance from Mr Rudd that he would announce his appointment to the House of Representatives today.

The Parliament would then be able to take whatever action it chose to do, including a no-confidence motion.

But Opposition Leader Tony Abbott talked down the prospects of moving a no-confidence motion in the Labor Government.

"Plainly one-third of the Cabinet has no confidence in Mr Rudd, they've resigned, it's the biggest exodus from the Cabinet in memory," Mr Abbott told the Nine Network.

"But we're not into parliamentary games ... let's let the people decide."

Should a motion go forward, Mr Rudd appears likely to get support from crossbenchers Andrew Wilkie, Peter Slipper, Craig Thomson, Bob Katter and Adam Bandt.

Mr Rudd is expected to announce an August 24 election.

He has to fill five other vacancies in the Cabinet.

Labor's new Senate leader Penny Wong revealed she voted for Mr Rudd, having told Ms Gillard just hours before the ballot.

"I had to decide who I thought would offer the best contest at the next election against Tony Abbott," Senator Wong told ABC Radio.

She described Ms Gillard as a friend, which made the decision even more difficult.

Resources Minister Gary Gray, a supporter of Ms Gillard, says Mr Rudd had asked him to stay on and he had agreed to do so.

Environment Minister Tony Burke is also staying on, despite offering his resignation to Mr Rudd.

Mr Abbott said Mr Rudd had "had his revenge".

"But is this all about Kevin Rudd's ego or is it about the Australian people?" Mr Abbott said.

Mr Albanese said there would be a "proper discussion" about changing the election date, but any change would not be too far from the existing September 14 poll.

"The party will unite behind Kevin Rudd's leadership," Mr Albanese said.

Read more in today's Mercury.


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