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Australian PM Gillard ousted by her party

Australian PM Gillard ousted by her party
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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been ousted by her own party, just months before a general election.

An emotional Gillard told a news conference: “I will have time in the coming weeks to be back home in my electorate and to say hello and goodbye to the community that I’ve had the absolute privilege of representing in this parliament since 1998.”

Kevin Rudd is taking her place, after winning the leadership battle of the ruling Labour Party. Rudd was himself ousted by Gillard, then his deputy, three years ago.

Recent polls suggested that the minority Labour government could lose up to 35 seats in the upcoming election – handing a large majority to the Conservative opposition.

There is speculation that Labour might bring forward the election now that Gillard has gone, but analysts said the chaos within the party was unlikely to win it any popularity.