Australian PM vows not to resign amid pressure
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has vowed not to resign despite mounting pressure on him following a “catastrophic” election loss in the northeastern state of Queensland.
Abbott pledged to carry on during a meeting at the National Press Club in the capital, Canberra, on Monday.
“It’s the people that hire and frankly it’s the people that should fire,” said Abbott.
The prime minister also claimed that he is the right person to lead the country’s government.
The calls for Abbott to step down came in the wake of a number of setbacks for the prime minister in the past week.
Last weekend, Queensland’s Liberal-National Party (LNP), allied with Abbott’s ruling coalition, lost the largest political majority in the country’s history after only one term.
Following the release of the election results, Abbott said there are lessons to be learned, adding that his recent decision to knight Prince Philip, the husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, had hurt LNP member and state governor Campbell Newman’s campaign.
Abbott admitted that he had “probably overdid it on awards,” saying he would not be making any other knighthood decisions in the future, instead, the Order of Australia Council would handle such issues.
Furthermore, Abbott admitted that his government has been struggling to get its message across to voters, vowing a more consultative leadership style.
Current Labor leader Bill Shorten said Abbott does not focus on the right issues for the country.
“This man has got the wrong policies for Australia in the 21st century,” said Shorten, adding, “He’s more focused on Buckingham Palace than Beijing.”
Abbot has also seen his popularity fall. A Fairfax-Ipsos poll published by The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday showed that Abbott’s support dropped from 39 to 34 percent, while Shorten saw his popularity climb to 50 percent.
Similar results were shown in another poll published in the Sunday Telegraph, in which Abbott’s personal ratings had dropped to 27 percent, while Shorten had gathered 44 percent support.