Australia’s Labor Party wins enough seats to govern alone
May 30, 2022, 10:49 AM | Updated: 11:24 pm
(Lukas Coch/AAP Image via AP)
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s center-left Labor Party secured enough seats Tuesday to hold an outright majority in the House as vote counting from an election 10 days ago continued.
That means new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his party will be able to govern alone — although it’s possible they might still seek deals with other parties to strengthen their hand. The calculus remains different in the Senate, where the Labor Party will likely need help from other liberals to command a majority.
With about 80% of the vote counted, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. projected Labor will win at least 76 of the 150 House seats, the minimum required to form a majority government. Two seats remained too close to call. Labor will need to provide a Speaker, which will reduce their voting ranks by one, although the Speaker also gets the casting vote in the case of a tie.
Albanese’s party defeated the conservative coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the May 21 election.
Albanese was sworn in last week when it became clear he had the numbers to govern, with or without a majority. He flew to Tokyo for a summit with President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Albanese got a standing ovation when he addressed his Labor caucus Tuesday. He outlined his agenda for the rest of the year and announced the new parliament will open on July 26.
He said Labor will introduce a bill to form a federal anti-corruption commission, review wasteful spending and announce a budget in October.
Albanese told his colleagues the party won by showing unity, discipline and a sense of purpose.
“We had a good story to tell,” he said. “We weren’t intimidated by anyone, we didn’t get distracted, we stayed on course and the discipline we showed was magnificent.”
He welcomed those colleagues who had won their first elections.
“For those newbies, you really struck gold because opposition is not fun. At all,” he said.
He said Australia would join the global effort to combat climate change “after nine wasted years.”
Albanese’s Cabinet and ministers are due to be finalized and sworn in this week before he flies to Indonesia on Sunday for a three-day diplomatic visit.
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