Aug. 4 - Australia's Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has set the date of September the 7th for national elections, ending weeks of speculation.Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called national elections for Sept. 7 on Sunday (August 04), ending a turbulent three years in power for Australia's minority Labor government.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD SAYING:
"This afternoon I visited the Governor-General and her excellency has accepted my advice an election be held on Saturday the 7th of September. The time has come for the Australian people to decide on our nation's future because they are the ones who we in this parliament are elected to serve."
Rudd was dumped by his party in June 2010 but returned as Prime Minister on June 26 after he defeated Julia Gillard in a party-room ballot, with a third of Gillard's cabinet also stepping down.
His return to power has seen a spike in public support for the ruling Labor Party, although conservative Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is still favourite to win power at the elections.
Rudd's Labor could lose office with the loss of just one of the 150 seats in parliament to the opposition parties.
His government currently holds 71 seats, the opposition 72, with one Green and six independent cross benchers.
The election date means Australia's prime minister will miss the coming G20 summit in St Petersburg in Russia, set for Sept. 5 and 6, even though Australia will take over as chair of the G20 for the coming year.
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