Ending days of political chaos in Australia, former treasurer Scott Morrison is all set to become the 30th prime minister of the country after emerging victorious in a leadership vote.
Morrison, who is a member of the ruling Liberal party’s conservative faction, narrowly defeated former home affairs minister Peter Dutton by 45-40 in a closed-door trust vote, CNN quoted the party’s whip Nola Marino as saying.
Marino further confirmed that Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has been elected as the deputy leader of the Liberal Party.
The Australian prime minister-designate, who will be succeeding Malcolm Turnbull, is a long-time advocate of a strict border protection regime for the country.
The political crisis in Australia began after Turnbull drew flak from conservative lawmakers within his party over the changes he made to the National Energy Guarantee policy earlier this month.
Turnbull, who did not appear in the second leadership vote, said that he received a petition showing that he has lost the majority support of his Liberal Party. He also took to his social media handle to confirm the same.
“I have just been provided with a request for a meeting of the Parliamentary Liberal Party. It has 43 signatures. As soon as they are verified by the Whips, which should not take long, the meeting will be called,” Turnbull tweeted.
The outgoing Australian prime minister, who considered himself a political moderate, had been a long-time advocate for progressive social policies and action on climate change. However, he was always at loggerheads over several issues with some of his lawmakers within the Liberal Party.
On Tuesday, Turnbull narrowly won the first leadership vote by 48-35 against Dutton.
In 2015, Turnbull was sworn-in as the Australian prime minister, after seeing off his predecessor Tony Abbott in a similar trust vote. He won the federal election in 2016.
No Australian prime minister has succeeded in completing a full three-year term ever since John Howard resigned from the post in 2007. Australia is due to hold the next federal election in 2019.