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Oz PM contenders say no early polls

The contenders for Australia’s Prime Minister promised on Wednesday to govern for a full term if three key Independent lawmakers support...

Written by Associated Press | Canberra |
August 26, 2010 11:34:10 pm

The contenders for Australia’s Prime Minister promised on Wednesday to govern for a full term if three key Independent lawmakers support their competing parties to form an administration after indecisive elections. They are likely to decide whether Julia Gillard’s Labor Party or Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s Liberal Party-led coalition forms a government after elections failed to give any party a majority for the first time in 70 years.

Independents Rob Oakeshott,Tony Windsor and Bob Katter opened negotiations with the two leaders on Wednesday and presented each with wish lists including a demand for a pledge to govern for full three years.

Gillard said that a by-election due to a government lawmaker becoming sick could be enough to bring down a minority administration. “If I was the incoming Prime Minister,out of this process,to the extent that I could control it,my guarantee to go full term is unequivocal,” Gillard said.

Conservative Opposition leader Abbott said he told the Independents “there would be no election prior to August 2013,should I become Prime Minister”. The Independents say their top demand is for details of how much the competing election promises would cost the nation in areas including telecommunications,health and education.

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