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Australia’s Labour leader Albanese prepares to form a new government

Australian new Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. Photo: NDTV

Australia’s Labor Party will form the country’s next government on Monday, as unprecedented support for the Greens and climate-focussed independents ended more than nine years of rule by the conservative Liberal-nationalist coalition.

Centre-left Labor remains four to five seats short of a majority of 76 in the 151 seat lower house with about a dozen electorates too close to call, television channels reported on Sunday.

Labor may need the support of independents and smaller parties to return to power for the first time since 2013.

The party’s leader Anthony Albanese is expected to be sworn in as the country’s 31st prime minister on Monday along with four senior party members, before heading to Tokyo, Japan, to attend a “Quad” summit on Tuesday with US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kashida.

“I do want to change the country. I want to change the way that politics operates in this country,” 59-year-old Mr Albanese told reporters after leaving a cafe in his Sydney suburb, where he was seen taking pictures with supporters.

Several world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and neighbouring New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, congratulated Mr Albanese on his victory.

Anthony Norman Albanese was first elected to Australia’s House of Representatives in the 1996 election, having won a seat in the state of New South Wales.

He was first appointed to the shadow cabinet in 2001 by Simon Queen and went on to serve in a number of roles, eventually becoming manager of opposition business in 2006. Writing by Tony Okerafor