Kevin Rudd has ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard asthe leader of Australia’s Labor Party.
He won by 57 votes to 45 in a lLeadersip ballot of Labor lawmakers.
This isthe latest twist in a long and bitter rivalry betweenthe two politicians – but it could bethe last as Ms Gillard has said she will now leave politics.
“I will not re-contestthe federal electorate… atthe forthcoming election,” said Ms Gillard, Australia'’s first female prime minister.
Wednesday'’s lLeadersip vote makes Mr Ruddthe leader ofthe Labor Party, but not yet prime minister.
Ms Gillard must first write to Governor General Quentin Beyce stating that she is resigning before Mr Rudd can be sworn in.
Despitetheir bitter rivalry, Mr Rudd praised his predecessor, describing her as a woman of extraordinary intelligence, with great strength and energy.
Mr Rudd is more popular with voters than Ms Gillard, and many believe Labor will perform better inthe election under him.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Tony Abbott called on Mr Rudd to name an election date, arguing that it’should be sooner than 14 September -the date set by Ms Gillard. – bbc / picture: bbc