Australia swears in new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese while votes are still being counted

Penny Wong, Anthony Albanese, Richard Marles
(Image credit: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian voters elected to change governments in national elections on Saturday, replacing the center-right Liberal Party with the center-left Labor Party after nine years, and they got their new government less than 48 hours later. Governor-General David Hurley swore in Labor leader Anthony Albanese as Australia's 31st prime minister on Monday, while votes are still being counted to determine if Albanese's party will have a majority in Parliament or need to cobble together a coalition government.

Hurley also swore in four members of Albanese's Cabinet: Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, and economy ministers Katy Gallagher and Jim Chalmers. Wong, born in Malaysia, is the first foreign-born Australian foreign minister; she will travel with Albanese to Tokyo to meet with President Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi — the leaders of the so-called Quad nations. Marles will serve as acting prime minister while Albanese is overseas.

With the votes counted so far, Labor has 72 seats, short of a majority in the 151-seat House of Representatives, while the Liberals and their coalition partners won 58 seats. Six races are too close to call, The Associated Press reports. Both major parties lost voters to the Greens, independents, and other smaller parties. Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison's decision to resign before the vote count was complete allows Albanese to represent Australia at Tuesday's Quad summit, where China's expansion in the Indo-Pacific region is expected to be the main topic.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us