Julia Gillard remains as Australian Labor Party leader
Canberra, March 21 : Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has retained the leadership of the Labor party on Thursday after former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has declared he won't stand in the Labor leadership ballot in the Australian Labor Party (ALP) caucus.
Treasurer Wayne Swan remains as deputy prime minister after Simon Crean, former minister for arts and regional affairs, withdrew his nomination.
Gillard called a leadership spill for 4:30 p.m. (local time) after an intervention from party elder Simon Crean, who demanded the leadership be put to vote to end the "disunity" which he said was killing the party today. Crean announced he would back Kevin Rudd. But 10 minutes ahead of the ballot, Rudd said he would not stand in the ballot.
Earlier Thursday afternoon, during question time, Gillard declared the leadership spill was on. The Opposition called for a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Julia Gillard. However, an absolute majority has not been reached on it.
Speaking after the government withdrew its contentious media reform bills because they had failed to attract enough support in the House of Representatives, Crean called on Rudd to show his hand and stand against Gillard.
"I don't want any more games, I'm sick to death of it, it's about time he stood up and instead of having his camp leak things, actually have the courage of his conviction and his belief," Crean said.