Morrison sworn in as Australia’s prime minister
SYDNEY (AP) — Scott Morrison was sworn in as Australia’s prime minister on Wednesday, 11 days after retaining the position in the country’s general election.
Along with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Morrison was sworn in by Queen Elizabeth’s official representative in Australia, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, at a ceremony in the capital, Canberra.
Also sworn in was Morrison’s revamped Cabinet, which includes an equal-record seven women, and Australia’s first Aboriginal federal cabinet minister, Ken Wyatt.
Wyatt, the new indigenous affairs minister, received a standing ovation from the small gathering at the ceremony when he stepped up to be sworn in. He wore a traditional kangaroo skin, called a “booka”, given to him by indigenous people from his home state, Western Australia.
Morrison became Australia’s 30th prime minister through an internal party vote last August in which he replaced Malcolm Turnbull as chief of the ruling Liberal Party.
It was the fourth switch of Australia’s leader through an internal party vote in just eight years, sparking heated criticism from many voters. Yet Morrison was returned to his post in the May 18 election, and with an increased majority for the conservative Liberal-National party coalition.
With voting continuing in two close seats, the coalition was ahead in 77 seats, with the opposition Labor Party leading in 68, and with six seats having been secured by independent candidates and minor parties. A total of 76 seats is needed for majority government.
Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, Morrison said his “hungry, committed and united” team would focus on the aspirations of ordinary Australians during this coalition government’s third successive term in power.
“They are the reason we have the opportunity and the great privilege to serve them each and every day,” he told colleagues on Tuesday, at coalition lawmakers’ first meeting since the election.
“We must burn for the Australian people every single day that we have this privilege of serving them, in this party room and as a government.”
Australia’s 46th Parliament is expected to open in the first week of July.