Sydney, 23 May 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Labor Party’s Anthony Albanese on Monday was sworn in as Australia’s 31st prime minister, following his victory in national elections on Saturday.
Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley swore in Albanese at Government House in Canberra.
Hurley then swore in Richard Marles, the new minister for employment and deputy leader, new Foreign Minister Penny Wong, new Treasurer Jim Chalmers, new Finance Minister and Attorney General Katy Gallagher.
Wong, who was born in Malaysia and raised in Australia, becomes the first Australian foreign minister to be born abroad.
“I am deeply honored to serve as Australia’s Prime Minister,” Albanese tweeted following the ceremony.
“As Prime Minister, I want to bring people together and lead a government that is as courageous, hard-working and caring as the Australian people. That work starts today,” he wrote.
Albanese had told journalists that the Monday swearing in would cover all the ministerial portfolios “as an interim arrangement,” adding the portfolios would then be divided up next week.
The 59-year-old, the first Labor prime minister since 2013, was set to immediately head to Tokyo with Wong for a Quad meeting with the leaders of Japan, the US and India.
It still remained unclear whether Albanese’s Labor would rule in its own right or would need to lead a minority government.
As vote counting continued, broadcaster ABC was listing Labor as leading in 72 of 151 seats in the lower house, while the coalition of outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison was listed as leading in 52 seats with more than 70 percent of votes counted.
Experts said that it would take a while for the seat distribution to be finalized due to Australia’s complicated electoral system.
Morrison, a staunch supporter of the coal industry, said he would resign as Liberal Party leader following the electoral defeat.
A few hours after the polls closed on Saturday night, he congratulated Albanese and conceded defeat, saying it was a “difficult night” for his conservative government.