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  • Obama Congratulates Australian PM Julian Gillard

    Published on September 8, 2010

    U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called incumbent Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to congratulate her on “the successful formation of the government,” the White House said.

    Obama and Gillard agreed to work closely to ensure the two countries’ common security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, the White House said in a statement.

    Obama looks forward to working with Gillard at the Group of 20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summits in November, the statement said.

    After more than two weeks following the Aug. 21 general elections, Australian Labor Leader Gillard on Tuesday won the backing of two independent members of parliament (MP), Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, securing 76 out of the total 150 parliamentary seats to form a new government.

    The August vote was the tightest election in the nation’s political history as neither the Labor nor Conservative Coalition party won the majority seats to form a majority government, creating the first hung parliament in 70 years.

    The elected Greens’ MPs, together with four independent MPs, therefore holds the balance of power to decide which party will form a minority government.