Labor Takes Australian Elections

11-year PM John Howard concedes to former diplomat
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2007 5:30 AM CST
Australian Prime Minister John Howard walks past a campaign poster promoting his opposition, Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd, outside a polling station before casting his ballot at a suburban Sydney school...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Former Diplomat Kevin Rudd is poised to become Australia's new prime minister after his Labor Party claimed victory in yesterday's elections. Labor expects to take at least 83 of the 150 seats in Parliament, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, current PM John Howard faces the possibility of losing his own seat in Sydney.

The younger Rudd campaigned as a new generation of leadership, while the 11-year prime minister cited his experience and Australia's economic growth as reasons to keep him in office. Rudd has pledged to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq and sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, and he is expected to cultivate closer relations with Asian nations.