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Another Kevin Rudd supporter quits Australian ministerial job

English.news.cn   2013-03-22 08:32:15            

CANBERRA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The aftermath of Australian Labor Party (ALP) leadership spill further unfolded on Friday as Teritiary Education Minister Chris Bowen, a Kevin Rudd supporter, resigned from Julia Gillard's cabinet following the leadership showdown.

"On that difficult day (Thursday) I took the decision that the best thing for the Labor party, and for Australia, would be for Kevin Rudd to return to the prime ministership," he told reporters in Canberra on Friday, "I've held that view for some time."

Rudd did not put his hand up for the leadership on Thursday, allowing Gillard to retain the leadership and the prime ministership unopposed.

Bowen said after discussions with his wife and friends, "I decided to resign" from cabinet.

He told Gillard of his decision Friday morning.

Bowen joined party elder Simon Crean, Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles as the third victim of Thursday's aborted leadership coup.

Crean, who initiated the coup by declaring his support for Rudd and urging the prime minister to spill the leadership positions, was sacked by Gillard. Crean used to take the portfolio of regional affairs and arts.

Marles, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, offered his resignation after the party caucus on Thursday evening.

Bowen said other ministers who also supported Rudd would make their own decisions. He said he would recontest his western Sydney seat of McMahon at the September 14 election.

Bowen conceded Labor was in a tough situation ahead of the September 14 federal poll. While returning to Rudd as party leader would bring a chance for the party in the election, the party has declined that chance.

"The election is approaching, and the party has made its choice, " he said.

Editor: Hou Qiang
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