Australia’s new prime minister Anthony Albanese takes office

05/23/2022 01:32 (act 05/23/2022 01:32)

Australian election winner Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the country’s 31st Prime Minister. Just two days after the vote, the 59-year-old Labor chief was sworn in before Governor General David Hurley on Monday. Several ministers in the new cabinet were sworn in with him in Canberra, including the new secretary of state, Penny Wong. However, the counting of votes is not over yet.

Therefore, it is still unclear whether Albanians can rule with an absolute majority or whether it will depend on votes from other parties. Some 17 million voters were summoned on Saturday to vote for all 151 seats in the House and half of the 78 seats in the Senate. The right-wing conservative coalition led by former prime minister Scott Morrison suffered heavy losses. After years of repeated environmental disasters, it was criticized mainly for its climate policy.

The oath came so quickly because Albanese and Wong want to attend a summit with US President Joe Biden and the heads of government of Japan and India on Tuesday in Tokyo. At the so-called Quad Summit, the focus must be on the fight for a free and open Indo-Pacific. States are trying not to let China’s influence in the region continue to grow.