Gillard sworn in as Australia’s PM

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

SYDNEY - Australia’s first elected female Prime Minister Julia Gillard was Tuesday sworn in along with her 19 cabinet ministers in Canberra.

Gillard, who was accompanied by her partner Tim Mathieson, signed a document and swore allegiance to Britain’s queen. She was also joined by her 19 newly appointed cabinet ministers, 10 ministers and 12 parliamentary secretaries, The Age newspaper reported.

The new Cabinet includes Defence Minister Stephen Smith, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, whom Gillard deposed as Labor chief.

Gillard toppled former prime minister Rudd in June this year. She then led the ruling Labor into the Aug 21 general elections.

Gillard announced the new cabinet Saturday, four days after her Labor Party secured the support of two independent MPs to form a minority government in the country’s first hung parliament in 70 years.

The independent MPs’ support, which came to Labor after an impasse of fortnight, gave Gillard the narrowest of margins in the 150-member House of Representatives, bringing to 76 the number of parliamentarians willing to support the new government. The opposition Coalition led by Tony Abbott has 73 seats.

Tony Abbott is set to announce his opposition frontbench in Sydney Tuesday.

Abbott confirmed that former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull has been appointed to the shadow cabinet.

Turnbull, who reversed his decision to retire from politics earlier this year, will serve as opposition communications and broadband spokesman. He was re-elected as the MP for Wentworth, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, in the Aug 21 election.

Filed under: Politics

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