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Aussie premier to challenge leadership spill motion

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is determined to challenge an upcoming leadership spill motion set for next week that could remove him from power.

On Friday, the Australian leader asked Liberal lawmakers and senators in the parliament to vote against the motion to remove him and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop from office on February 10.

According to Abbott the move was brought by two backbenchers in the parliament.

“They are asking the party room to vote out the people that the electorate voted in,” Abbott said, adding that he would “stand together” with Bishop to defeat the motion.

“We will stand together in urging the party room to defeat this particular motion and in so doing… vote in favor of the stability and the team that the people voted for at the election,” said the Australian president.

The remarks by Abbott came shortly after West Australian Liberal MP Luke Simpkins told lawmakers he would initiate a leadership challenge.

Simpkins said that the Australian party room, which is made up of 102 Liberal members of the lower and upper house, would be able to choose to “either endorse the prime minister or seek a new direction.”

The spill motion needs to receive a simple majority of 52 of the 102 senators and members of the parliamentary Liberal Party. Following the vote, members will be required to nominate a leader.

During a meeting at the National Press Club last week, Abbott, who has been in office since September 2013, vowed not to step down amid pressure over his party, which failed to receive a majority of votes in Queensland state elections on February 1.

This is while Abbott’s approval rate has dropped to below 36 percent.


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