Canberra, Australia: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been ousted as Labor Party leader by her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, in a vote of party lawmakers hoping to avoid a huge defeat in upcoming elections, Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
The ballot took place three years and two days after Gillard ousted Rudd in a similar internal government showdown to become the country’s first female prime minister.
She lacked Rudd’s charisma, and although many Labor lawmakers preferred her style, her deepening unpopularity among voters compelled a majority to seek a change ahead of elections that are set for Sept. 14 but could be held in August.
Wednesday’s 57-to-45 vote makes Rudd leader of the party. Governor-General Quentin Bryce could make him prime minister as early as Thursday, but Rudd likely will have to demonstrate that he can command a majority of lawmakers in the House of Representatives.