[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
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.