Australia’s newPrime Minister Scott Morrison has launched his cabinet, replacing hispredecessor and Liberal Party colleague Malcolm Turnbull. Cabinet Ministers were sworn in today at a ceremony in the capital, Canberra. Morrison assumedhis post on Friday after Turnbull stepped down amid slumping public support forhis ruling coalition.
The countryexpects parliamentary elections by next May. The latest polls showed Morrison’sapproval rating at 33 percent, 6 percentage points lower than that of theleader of the main opposition party.
Morrison’s government faces diplomatic tests such as managing ties with Australia’s biggest trade partner China. The two countries’ relations soured after the previous administration adopted policies to prevent Chinese influence in Australian politics.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was sworn in on Monday.
Dutton, who tried to unseat Turnbull, was re-appointed as home affairs minister, a post he previously held during the Turnbull administration, but without the portfolios of Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, which were taken over by David Coleman.
Other members of the new Cabinet include Marise Payne, who left her post as Defence Minister to take the Foreign Affairs portfolio in the new cabinet.
Steve Ciobo, become the new Defence Industry Minister and leave his trade portfolio for Simon Birmingham.
The Ministry of Energy and Environment will be divided into two different portfolios, with Angus Taylor, known for his opposition to renewable energies, assuming the first and Melissa Price taking the latter.
Dan Tehan will become the new education minister while Mathias Cormann remains in charge of Finance in the new conservative-leaning cabinet with numerous Dutton allies.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, considered the main figure fomenting the party opposition against Turnbull, however, did not receive any promotions but it is possible that he will be appointed as a special envoy for Indigenous Affairs.
Turnbull, who took office in 2015 after snatching the seat from Abbott in a similar party dispute, announced that he will leave the parliament this week after being cut off from the government, which was seen as very inclined to the left by the more conservative section of the Liberal Party.
Australia will hold a general election in 2019.