Saturday 21 April 2018

General election threat from Australian prime minister

Malcolm Turnbull
Malcolm Turnbull

Jonathan Pearlman in Sydney

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia's prime minister, has recalled parliament and threatened to call an early general election - most likely for July 2 - saying "the time for playing games is over".

Six months after he ousted Tony Abbott, Mr Turnbull, a staunch republican, said parliament would hold an extraordinary sitting in April to deal with legislation aimed at preventing union corruption.

If the legislation is defeated by the senate, or upper house - where no party currently has a majority- this would give Mr Turnbull a "trigger" to call an early general election of both houses of parliament. An election of this sort has not been held since 1987.

"This is an opportunity for the senate to do its job of legislating rather than filibustering," Mr Turnbull said.

Irish Independent

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