Sydney, Australia, May 23 (EFE).- Australia’s Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese was sworn in Monday as the country’s new prime minister.
Albanese was sworn in so that he could attend the summit of leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) strategic alliance comprising Australia, India, Japan and the United States, which will be held Tuesday in Tokyo.
Albanese led his party to victory in the general elections held on Saturday, although it remains to be seen whether Labor will form a majority government or will need a coalition to govern.
The 59-year-old was sworn in earlier in the day at a ceremony with Australian Governor-General David Hurley in Canberra.
“As Prime Minister, I want to bring people together and lead a government that is as courageous, hard-working and caring as the Australian people. That work starts today,” Albanese said on Twitter shortly after.
Jim Chalmers and Kathy Gallagher were also sworn in as treasurer and minister of finance respectively as well as Penny Wong as foreign minister and Richard Marles as employment minister and deputy prime minister.
The swearing-in will allow Albanese and Wong to travel to Tokyo on Monday evening for the QUAD summit in which US President Joe Biden as well as Japanese and Indian Prime Ministers Fumio Kishida and Narendra Modi respectively, will participate.
During Albanese’s trip to Tokyo that will conclude on Wednesday, Marles will act as Australia’s temporary prime minister and the other ministers who were sworn in will be in charge of all portfolios until the composition of the new government is determined at the end of the week.
According to the Australian Electoral Commission, Labor has secured 75 seats – close to the 76 required for an absolute majority -, compared to 58 by former prime minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition.
The Center Alliance and the far-right Katter’s Australian Party have also secured one seat each.
Labor might turn to independents focused on climate change, which have 10 seats so far, and the Green Party, which could obtain up to five seats.
The outcome of six seats of the 151-member House of Representatives is yet to be determined, along with 40 of the 76 Senate seats, whose final results may take days due to the country’s complicated preferential voting system. EFE