Australia’s ruling party mulls sacking the prime minister—again

Aug 22, 2018

WHEN it looked as if he might hold on to his job, Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, insisted that for his fellow Liberal MPs, the bedrock of the governing coalition, “Unity is critical.” At that point, on August 21st, he had just precipitated and survived a vote on his own leadership. But the challenger he wrong-footed, Peter Dutton, the home-affairs minister (pictured standing), refused to give up. He began circulating a petition for another vote within the Liberal caucus, and persuaded a series of allies to resign as ministers. When it became clear that his support was crumbling, Mr Turnbull changed tone.

“I’ve never given in to bullies,” the prime minister declared at a press conference, while appearing to give in. He said he would resign if Mr Dutton produced a petition from a majority of Liberal MPs asking for a fresh vote—something Mr Dutton should be able to do, given all the resignations from the cabinet. But Mr Turnbull laid several traps for Mr Dutton even as...

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