Australian Prime Minister Morrison defends the record despite the electoral defeat

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Scott Morrison said his Conservative government left Australia in good shape, although voters on Saturday punished him for his handling of issues including climate change and pandemic which helped bring the center-left opposition back to power for the first time in nearly a decade.

Morrison, 54, said he would step down as head of the Liberal Party – the oldest member of the conservative coalition he had ruled since 2013 – after conceding defeat to Labor and its leader Anthony Albanese.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison gestures as his wife Jenny watches as he addresses a Liberal Party function in Sydney, Australia on Saturday 21 May 2022. Morrison admitted defeat and confirmed he would hand over leadership of the Liberal Party later. its the party's defeat against Labor in today's federal elections.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison gestures as his wife Jenny watches as he addresses a Liberal Party function in Sydney, Australia on Saturday 21 May 2022. Morrison admitted defeat and confirmed he would hand over leadership of the Liberal Party later. its the party’s defeat against Labor in today’s federal elections.
(AP Photo / Mark Baker)

A former tourism marketer before moving into politics, Morrison was labeled a “prime minister by accident” in 2018 when his government colleagues chose him to replace then-leader Malcolm Turnbull. Morrison caused a big surprise by leading the coalition to victory in a 2019 election said to be impossible to win.

It has since been deeply criticized for dragging the chain on climate change and for failing to establish a promised corruption and integrity watchdog that oversees national politicians.

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He was also scorned for taking a vacation to Hawaii during The main bushfire crisis in Australia in the summer of 2019-2020, for his government’s mess of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program and, more recently, for being at the helm as South Pacific neighbors, the Solomon Islands, struck a strategic collaboration with China.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison poses for a selfie after voting in his Cook electorate in Sydney, Australia on Saturday 21 May 2022. Australians go to the polls on Saturday after a six-week election campaign focused on inflation fueled by pandemic, climate change and fears over the creation of a Chinese military outpost less than 1,200 miles from the Australian coast.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison poses for a selfie after voting in his Cook electorate in Sydney, Australia on Saturday 21 May 2022. Australians go to the polls on Saturday after a six-week election campaign focused on inflation fueled by pandemic, climate change and fears over the creation of a Chinese military outpost less than 1,200 miles from the Australian coast.
(AP Photo / Mark Baker)

Morrison was also widely condemned for a perceived lack of empathy in relation to the treatment of women in Australian society, an issue that drew close scrutiny through damaging revelations of sexual harassment scandals that rocked the federal parliament. Analysts pointed to this area as one of the reasons for such a strong vote for so-called independent teals in Saturday’s elections, the majority of which were women.

Still Morrison, after congratulating Albanese, took a proud and provocative tone in defending his and his government’s record, focusing on the economyhis administration’s work to prevent refugees from arriving in the country by boat and to strengthen the nation’s defenses.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison gestures after voting in his Cook electorate in Sydney, Australia on Saturday 21 May 2022. Australians go to the polls on Saturday after a six-week election campaign focused on pandemic-fueled inflation, on climate change and fears that a Chinese military outpost will be established less than 1,200 miles off the Australian coast.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison gestures after voting in his Cook electorate in Sydney, Australia on Saturday 21 May 2022. Australians go to the polls on Saturday after a six-week election campaign focused on pandemic-fueled inflation, on climate change and fears that a Chinese military outpost will be established less than 1,200 miles off the Australian coast.
(AP Photo / Mark Baker)

“We are handing this country as a government into a stronger position than when we inherited it when we came to government (in 2013),” Morrison told a rally of Liberal supporters in Sydney late Saturday night.

“Unemployment today is at its lowest level in 48 years,” he said, referring to a 3.9% rate.

“Australians drop out of school, drop out of university, do their jobs, knowing they have the confidence to be out there and able to find a job and be able to fulfill their aspirations, and that’s what I wish them. , that’s what I wish for this country, “he said.

Volunteers stand outside a polling station as they wait for the Australian Prime Minister to vote in Sydney, Australia on Saturday 21 May 2022. Australians go to the polls on Saturday after a six-week election campaign focused on pandemic-fueled inflation. on climate change and fears that a Chinese military outpost will be established less than 1,200 miles from the Australian coast.
(Photo AP / Mark Baker)

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“We leave the government, having protected our borders many years ago, and we leave the government that restored our nation’s defenses,” he added, citing the recent security alliance known as AUKUS which also includes the United States and the United Kingdom.

Morrison also praised his government’s work on health issues, particularly mental health.

He said it had been a “privilege to lead this great party and lead this great nation” but that he, as a leader, would “take responsibility for the victories and defeats.”

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“Consequently, I will hand over the leadership at the next party hall meeting, to ensure that the party can be brought forward under new leadership,” he said.

“It’s a night of disappointments … but it’s also a time for coalition members and supporters across the country to hold their heads up. We’ve been a strong government. We’ve been a good government. Australia is stronger thanks. to our efforts in these last three terms “.