Leadership Change Jolts Australia

Rudd Resigns Ahead of Vote to Lead Ruling Party, Clearing Way for Nation's First Female Leader

CANBERRA—Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stepped down on Thursday, amid a mutiny in the once-popular leader's governing party, clearing the way for the country's first female prime minister.

Mr. Rudd resigned before a leadership ballot could be held, after Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, a Welsh-born 48-year-old former trial lawyer, challenged him for the top spot in the governing center-left Labor Party—a post that carries with it the premiership. Ms. Gillard stood unopposed at Thursday's vote of Labor's 112 lawmakers.

Ms. Gillard's candidacy was backed by the Labor Party's right wing, but also by key unions on the left.

Her ...

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit


Latest Tweets