Labor chief Albanese, 59, who has made the fight against climate change a central theme of his election campaign, is due to take office on Monday. However, the new prime minister, popularly known as “Albo” for short, is not the big winner of the vote: the two main camps were punished by around 17 million voters. Instead, for the first time, independent candidates – and especially female candidates – and Australian Greens garnered massive support. The media commented that the change in the new parliament would be led by women. It remains unclear whether Albanian Social Democrats will have their own majority in the lower house or whether they will rely on votes from other parties.
While major domestic and foreign policy challenges await the new prime minister, “Australians” returned to everyday life the day after the vote. Elections are a pretty quiet event on the fifth continent – and if there were no mandatory voting, turnout would likely be low, given widespread disenchantment with politics.
On Sunday morning, many families sat in cafes as usual with scrambled eggs with bacon and avocado toast, others strolled Sydney’s Circular Quay or rode the Ferris wheel in Darling Harbour. Political discussions were not heard. The electorate is basically fed up with the two main parties, experts say.
On the east coast, many people are currently facing the ruins of their existence after floods of unprecedented proportions that recently occurred in the states of Queensland and New South Wales. Flood alerts were issued again for some regions on Election Day. When it doesn’t rain, Australia suffers from drought and wildfires. The natural wonder of the Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its fourth coral bleaching since 2016, and a recent study alarmingly found that tree mortality in Australian rainforests has doubled since the 1980s.
The fact that some of Morrison’s party friends continue to deny climate change in the face of this disastrous situation makes many Australians shake their heads in anger. They now pin their hopes on Albanese and their campaign promises. As a reminder, Australia currently has one of the highest CO2 emissions per capita and is one of the largest coal exporters in the world.
In his victory speech, Albanese showed where the journey could go: “Together we can end the climate wars,” he shouted to his fans. “Together we can seize the opportunity to make Australia a renewable energy superpower.” He had already promised massive investments in “green energy” during the election campaign. “Yes, but how does he want to pay for all this?” asked the renowned “Sydney Morning Herald” on Sunday. Because Albanese not only inherited a large budget deficit from Morrison, but also a huge national debt.
Added to this are the tightrope walks of foreign policy. Relations with China have been strained since Australia called for an international investigation into the origin of the corona virus and how Beijing handled the outbreak. Since then, China has imposed punitive tariffs on Australian wine and other exports. The tone between Morrison and China’s head of state, Xi Jinping, has recently been – to say the least – harsh. In order to defuse China’s quest for power in the Indo-Pacific, Australia concluded the Aukus security pact with the US and Britain last year. The agreement stipulates that Washington and London must help their partner build nuclear submarines.
Political experts hope that the Albanians will adopt a less aggressive stance towards Beijing – but at the same time they do not want to compromise their close relationship with the United States. The plans that Australia’s new strongman has in mind will become apparent on Tuesday when Albanese attends the so-called Quad Summit in Tokyo with US President Joe Biden and the heads of government of Japan and India – with China as one of the main interlocutors. spots.
After the parliamentary elections in Australia, it remains unclear whether election winner Anthony Albanese of the Social Democratic Labor Party can govern alone or will depend on votes from other parties. Experts say it could still be some time before all 151 seats in the lower house are allocated because of Down Under’s complicated electoral system. The previous opposition leader, nicknamed “Albo”, is expected to be sworn in as prime minister on Monday.
He will replace the Liberals’ Conservative incumbent Scott Morrison. Morrison, who has been controversial mainly because of his pro-coal climate policy, also wants to step down from leadership of the party after the election disaster. Just hours after the polls closed on Saturday night, he admitted his defeat and congratulated Albanese.
The new 59-year-old prime minister is expected in Tokyo on Tuesday, where he is expected to attend a summit with US President Joe Biden and the heads of government of Japan and India. 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.