Aussie PM Survives Party Revolt
Plus: She apologizes for decades of forced adoptions
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 21, 2013 8:40 AM CDT
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard makes a statement to the media after a leadership ballot in Canberra, Australia, Thursday, March 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

(Newser) – Australian PM Julia Gillard dodged a bullet today, avoiding an ouster when potential challenger and predecessor Kevin Rudd opted not to run against her. A Labor minister called for a leadership ballot for the struggling party ahead of elections in September. Viral rants aside, Gillard has faced popularity issues since replacing Rudd. The Cabinet minister said an election victory depended on returning Rudd to the helm—but in a surprise move, Rudd rejected the opportunity, leaving Gillard unopposed on the leadership ballot, the New York Times reports.

Rudd said he was honoring a promise not to challenge Gillard. "I’ve given that word, I gave it solemnly in that room after the last ballot and I will adhere to that word today," he said. Also today, Gillard apologized on behalf of the government for some 225,000 forced adoptions between 1951 and 1975, AFP reports. Often, unmarried pregnant women were pushed into giving up their babies; a victimized mother called it "kidnapping." "To you, the mothers who were betrayed by a system that gave you no choice and subjected you to manipulation, mistreatment, and malpractice, we apologize," she said.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
NoFun
Mar 21, 2013 5:45 PM CDT
The interesting thing here is that is it being driven almost entirely by the press. She is being punished by the media for raising media laws to stop the concentration of media. Unlike ever other PM, whenever a poll comes out they include a figure on Rudd's popularity. Idiots in the Labor party latched on to this and brought about a leadership challenge but Rudd didn't nominate. It is a reminder of the power of corporate media.
DarkFrancis
Mar 21, 2013 11:58 AM CDT
Rudd didn't have the numbers so he didn't challenge. It makes little difference...the Labor Party will lose govt in September.
Luna_Park
Mar 21, 2013 11:50 AM CDT
Gillard is so unpopular with the Australian electorate that she and her Labor Party are expected to go down in flames, to crash and burn in the September elections, and the Liberal Party is slated to return to power. If Kevin Rudd had taken advantage of this opportunity today to wrest power back from the incompetent Gillard, then, with Gillard in the dustbin of history, the Labor Party might yet have been been able to salvage its hold on power come September, to snatch victory from the jaws of ignominious defeat. So I'm not sure what Rudd is up to, but I know he hates Gillard's guts and is waiting for the perfect moment to unleash his revenge, whatever form that may take, for Gillard's 2010 coup that unseated him as Prime Minister. ---0--- It doesn't matter, I guess. Labor is toast in September, even despite what Rudd might have his sleeve. Gawd, I hope so. I hate those people.