[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

Australia PM announces September elections

Breaking from tradition, Labour leader Julia Gillard sets date for general elections nine months in advance.
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2013 02:47
Some are predicting Prime Minister Julia Gillard will lose to the conservatives in the September poll [GALLO/GETTY]

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that elections will be held on September 14, announcing the date early to give "shape and order" to the year.

"It gives shape and order to the year, and enables it to be one not of fevered campaigning, but of cool and reasoned deliberation"

- Julia Gillard, Australian PM

Australians usually know only weeks before when an election will be held, but the Labour leader, whose minority government holds power by only a narrow margin, surprised pundits on Wednesday by giving close to nine months' notice.

"I do so not to start the nation's longest election campaign, quite the opposite," Gillard told the National Press Club in Canberra during a speech setting out the priorities for Labour in the year ahead.

"It should be clear to all which are the days of governing, and which are the days of campaigning."

Gillard, who is tipped to lose the election to conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott, said announcing the date of the polls would give individuals, businesses and investors the ability to plan ahead.

"It gives shape and order to the year, and enables it to be one not of fevered campaigning, but of cool and reasoned deliberation," she said.

Parliament will be dissolved on August 12. 

253

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
join our mailing list