Australia's Rudd rules out challenging PM Gillard

CANBERRA, March 21 Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:31am EDT

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CANBERRA, March 21 (Reuters) - Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd ruled out a challenge to incumbent Julia Gillard in a vote for the leadership of the Labor Party on Thursday.

Rudd, who was rolled by Gillard in 2010, said he gave his word a year ago that he would not challenge again, and that he would only return to the leadership if drafted with the overwhelming support of the Labor Party. But he said those circumstances did not exist at present.

Gillard has called a leadership ballot for 4.30 p.m. (05.30GMT).

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