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OZ PM Abbott bats away leadership speculation

OZ PM Abbott bats away leadership speculation
Embattled Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday dismissed heated speculation he will be dumped by his conservative colleagues, saying he expected to lead his party to the next election.

After reports that Abbott may not survive another challenge to his leadership, the prime minister was
asked whether he expected to be in his job by the end of next week.

“Other people can obsess about this kind of insider gossip, but I’m certainly not going to,” he said, stressing that voters should make the decision on who runs the country. “I was elected to be prime minister. The government was elected to govern the country.

“The people expect the government and the prime minister they elect to go forward doing the job that we were elected to do, and then to submit ourselves to their judgement at the next election. And that’s certainly what I expect to be doing.”

Abbott survived a leadership challenge earlier this month after poor polling, policy backflips and an unpopular budget generated a backbencher revolt, fuelled by questions about the prime minister’s judgement.

A vote on whether there should be a leadership contest was defeated 61 to 39 and no challenger emerged, with Abbott thought to have a clear run until after the May budget to boost polls in which the government is trailing the Labor opposition. 
Agencies

Agencies

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