Australian PM Kevin Rudd calls for new elections

Aug. 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM

SYDNEY, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called Sunday for an election to be held on Sept. 7 to decide "who the Australian people trust."

Rudd's announcement was made during a press conference, starting a five-week election campaign, The Australian reported.

"This election will be about who the Australian people trust to best lead them through the economic challenges ahead," Rudd said. "This will be about who the Australian people best judge can get the balance right by keeping our economy strong while at the same time protecting jobs, ensuring we have fair wages and fair conditions, continuing to invest in health and education, and above all ensuring there is a fair go for all."

Rudd, who has been in office since June 27, set his Labor Party up as an underdog and said that his Labor Party hasn't always made all the right decisions, but it had learned from its mistakes.

"Elections are about judgments of our record, just as they are about our plans for the future," Rudd said. "In the years [we have] been in office we have helped keep our economy strong, while economies around the world have lost tens of millions of jobs, businesses in Australia have added just under 1 million jobs over the last five and a half years."

"I have already said we have made our mistakes in the past, that is true. All governments do," the prime minister said. "The key is to learn from the experience."

Rudd went on to challenge opposition leader Tony Abbott, of the Liberal Party, to a debate ahead of the election.

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