- (PHOTO) REUTERS/Andrew Taylor
Kevin Rudd resumed the role of Australian Prime Minister Wednesday, three years and two days after he was ousted by his former deputy, Julia Gillard, following an internal government showdown.
In a compelling twist Labor party lawmakers voted in Rudd, who won 57-to-45, ahead of the Sept. 14 elections. Rudd will now face opposition leader, Tony Abbott, in the upcoming elections, which may now be held in August, according to News.com.au.
Gillard, who became Australia's first female Prime minister in 2010, was infamously accused of backstabbing Rudd for assuming the Labor leadership shortly after he began suffering a popularity decline amongst his own party members. Critics argued that the abrupt switch in leadership created tension and a subsequent sense of disunity amongst the Labor party however Rudd promised to rectify this in a speech read shortly after his victory.
"In recent years politics has failed the Australian people. There's just been too much negativity all around. I intend to lead a government that brings people together and gets the best out of them," Rudd told reporters during a post-victory press conference Wednesday.
"In 2007, the Australian people elected me to be their prime minister. This is a task I resume today with humility, with honor, and with an important sense of energy and purpose," he said.
Gillard, who confirmed that she would stand by her pledge to resign from politics after her loss, said that leading the country since 2010 had been "a privilege" and she thanked the public for ongoing support. She also congratulated Rudd immediately after his win.
"I congratulate Mr. Rudd on his election. In view of his election I have written to the Governor-General asking her to commission Rudd as Prime Minister of Australia," Gillard said during a press conference. "I will shortly leave from this Parliament to see the Governor-General on this matter"
Rudd is said to be a strong supporter of Australia's military alliance with the United States as well as Australia's trade with China. Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, is now Rudd's Deputy Prime Minister. The pair is expected to face Abbott, who is leader of Australia's Liberal party, and Deputy Liberal party leader, Julie Bishop in the upcoming election.