Aussie leaders seek minor party support amid election chaos


06 July, 2016

"He has taken this nation to an election on the basis of stability; he has delivered instability".

Embattled Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended his performance after widespread calls for his resignation and said on Tuesday he was confident of retaining office after vote counting resumed in a cliffhanger election.

Mr Shorten said it was too soon to predict whether Labor would be able to form government with the help of the independents, but said either way Mr Turnbull should go.

If no alliance can be forged, the government could end up calling yet another election — a possibility sure to frustrate politically tired Australians who have endured five changes of prime ministers in as many years.

Ditched Liberal advisor Peta Credlin has lashed the "hapless set of bedwetters" who she claimed plotted to oust former boss Tony Abbott as prime minister a year ago.

However, both ticked up after Moody's Investors Service said short-lived political uncertainty would have limited implications for Australia's coveted triple-A credit rating.

"Looking ahead, trends in Australia's credit profile will be determined by whether fiscal objectives are effectively implemented, whether external financing conditions remain favourable and how housing market developments affect domestic growth and financial conditions", Marie Diron, Senior Vice President at Moody's, said in a statement.

Turnbull said in his first public comments since Sunday that he was still confident of winning a majority. Results for the Senate vote are expected to take several weeks.

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Mr Shorten said the results showed Mr Turnbull "clearly wasn't up to it" as leader.

While the counting dragged on, Andrew Wilkie, one of the key independents, told ABC radio he was adamant he would "do no deals".

SYDNEY (AP) — With Australia's government in chaos amid a dramatic national election that failed to deliver an immediate victor, the country's opposition leader called on Monday for the prime minister to resign, dubbing him "the David Cameron of the southern hemisphere". "During these times of instability, Turnbull said it would be in Australia's interest to have a stable government with a clear mandate", he said.

Vote counting for the Senate resumed today but counting for the House of Representatives does not restart until Tuesday.

The delayed counting is a result of new security measures imposed by the Australian Electoral Commission. Most analysts had predicted the race would be tight, but few had anticipated it would be this close: Labor and the Liberals were in a virtual tie, raising the possibility that neither will end up with enough seats to form a majority government, resulting in a hung parliament.

At least 11 of 150 lower house seats remain in doubt.

Small parties are also likely to do well in the Senate, with Pauline Hanson's One Nation on track to win between two and four seats, marking the return of the right-wing anti-immigration activist to parliament after an nearly 20-year absence.

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