Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today declared victory for his conservative coalition in the closely fought general election after opposition Labor conceded defeat, ending the week-long state of political paralysis in the country.
Turnbull, whose victory speech came hours after opposition labor leader Bill Shorten rang him to conceded defeat, said it was vital for the country that all sides of politics worked together to make this term of parliament work.
“We’ve won the election, that’s what we’ve done. The most important people to thank are the Australian people because we have resolved this election and have done so peacefully,” Turnbull, 61, said.
“It is vital that this parliament work. It is vital that we work together and as far as we can ensure that we all
agree.. consistent with our policies that we took to the election,” he said.
According to media reports, Turnbull will not be officially sworn in for at least one week as the governor general is overseas and was unable to oversee the ceremony.
Turnbull indicated that some changes in the his cabinet team after losing some of his cabinet members.
“A number of our members have not been returned, I want to acknowledge them for their candidacy, I want to thank them for their service and acknowledge their going through a tough time and it is a tough business,” Turnbull said at a press conference.
“I also want to acknowledge the new members. We have some great new stars coming into parliament, I want to welcome them, it will be a new parliament with many new faces – new and younger face. It will be a new parliament and I believe a very exciting and constructive one,” he said.
Welcomed Shorten’s statement on reaching “common ground” on key issues with the government, Turnbull said his granddaughter was on his lap when he took Shorten’s call and he was “deeply, deeply touched” by the moment.
“That’s a moment I’ll never forget. It was a reminder that we are trustees for future generations. Everything we do is about the future,” Turnbull said.
“These challenges are not easy there’s no simple solution but that’s why they need our best minds, our best brains, above all our best goodwill in our new parliament to deliver that,” he said.
After eight days of vote counting, Liberal-National coalition has won 74 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives and Labor was at 66 seats with five seats still too close to call.