Australia's ruling coalition prepares for 3rd term

Canberra, May 19 (IANS) Australia's Liberal-National Coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, is preparing for its third consecutive term, though it's not known whether it will be able to form the government on its own or will need alliances.

While the counting of votes continues, there is no doubt that Morrison will direct the executive, a position he has occupied since August, especially after opposition Labour leader Bill Shorten admitted defeat on Saturday.

Morrison, who defied the poll forecasts, went to church with his wife on Sunday like any ordinary "father of the family", the image with which he managed to defeat Labour, who presented an ambitious proposal against climate change, Efe news reported.

The conservative politician, a man who always believed in "miracles" as he said in his acceptance speech, and now a hero of the Liberal Party, conducted an effective election campaign on social networks to reach the "silent" citizens, for which he has promised to work.

"Voters don't want action against climate change if it is perceived as a cost to the economy," said Adrian Beaumont, a statistics expert at the University of Melbourne, in an article in The Conversation. The coalition would win 77 of the 151 seats in the Lower House, he predicted.

The coalition received a majority support in Queensland, which is rich in mining resources and where there is a proposal to develop a coal mine, despite having a regional Labour government.

Morrison became Prime Minister in August after snatching the post from Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership struggle within the Liberal Party.

Saturday's vote was the third consecutive elections won by the Liberal-National Coalition after victories in 2013 and 2016.

Morrison's formation could obtain 76 seats against 69 of the Labour Party, whereas three minority parties and three independent legislators could obtain a deputy each in the House of Representatives, according to the Australian Electoral Commission projections.

The Commission has until June 28 to officially present the names of winners to the Governor General, but there are three jurisdictions in which it's not clear who will be the representative.

It's unclear whether the coalition will govern in its own right or have to make alliances with two representatives from the three independent formations, which include the Green Party, or the other three independent deputies that are expected to enter Parliament.

The coalition technically needs 76 of the 151 seats in the Lower House to govern in a majority.

While the coalition is preparing for its third term with a reshuffle of the Cabinet, the Labour is debating a change of leadership after the resignation of Shorten who will remain a legislator.

--IANS

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