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Change of power in Australia after nine years – VG

Won elections: Labor leader Anthony Albanese (centre) becomes the new Prime Minister of Australia. Here he celebrates with his son Nathan and partner Jodi Haydon on election night in Sydney.

Australia got Anthony Albanese its first Social Democrat prime minister in nine years. He promised to intensify the fight against the climate, but not to shut down coal mines.

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The Australian people’s voice for change. This victory makes me humble, the 59-year-old Albanese told his jubilant supporters in Sydney late Saturday night.

Less than an hour ago, incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat to the election.

Tonight, I spoke with the leader of the opposition, the incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese. I congratulated him on his election victory, said Morrison, 54, who is also stepping down as chair of the right-wing Liberal Party.

It is unclear whether Labor will win a majority on its own. But Albanians can seek support from both the “greens” and independent representatives of the minority government.

On election night, Albanese promised Australia would become a superpower in renewable energy.

Australia: Jim Finn holds his eight-month-old daughter Allegra while voting at a polling station in Sydney on Saturday.

A clear majority can be obtained

In the run-up to the election, opinion polls pointed in the direction of Labor’s first major election winner in 15 years. The last time the party held the premiership was from 2010 to 2013, but Julia Gillard then led a minority government.

When nearly 60 percent of the votes were counted, Labor won 72 seats in the National Assembly. This is four less than what is needed to obtain a clear majority.

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Morrison’s current coalition, which also consists of the National Conservative Party, has 55 seats so far. The Greens and Independents took 13 seats, according to Australian Radio ABC.

Many smaller parties and independent candidates who want to prioritize climate action appear to have done well in the elections.

Tokyo summit on Tuesday

Citizen duty: Prime Minister Scott Morrison met the press after carrying out his civic duty in Sydney.

Voting is mandatory in Australia, and long queues formed outside many polling stations when they opened. More than 17 million Australians are registered to vote this year. This is 96 percent of those eligible to vote.

Polling stations closed initially on the east coast of Australia, and vote counting began there in the morning Norwegian time. This year, the number of postal votes is a record, and they won’t be added to the score until Sunday.

When Morrison conceded defeat, millions of votes were not counted. But Morrison said it was important for the country to move forward and noted that on Tuesday an Australian prime minister would attend the so-called four-way summit with US President Joe Biden in Tokyo.

Albanians are aiming for their new government to be sworn in on Monday so that he can travel to the Japan Summit the following day.

Long waiting lists: People lined up to vote in Sydney on Saturday.

Climate change

In recent years, Australia has been plagued by epidemics, very strict infection control measures, bushfires, floods and other forms of extreme weather. Climate change was one of the issues that characterized the election campaign.

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Morrison’s government has received international criticism for its climate policy, and Labor has promised to tighten the country’s emissions targets.

In this year’s elections, independent bourgeois candidates focused on climate politics ran for elections in booming areas where Morrison’s party has traditionally been strong.

Australia is very vulnerable to heat waves and droughts as the globe warms. At the same time, the country’s economy is largely dependent on coal power, coal mining and other industries that cause significant emissions.

Tight emissions targets

The new government will reduce climate emissions by 43 percent by 2030, compared to the level in 2005. This is above today’s target of a 28 percent reduction.

The business also promises a major investment in renewable energy, tax cuts on electric vehicles, and subsidies for solar panels and battery projects.

But Albanians made no campaign promises to close coal mines or refrain from opening new ones.