Kevin Rudd , Australian Prime Minister says Economy Key Issue in Election

Kevin Rudd

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the country’s September 7 election will be won by the candidate who can be trusted to manage the country economy. He said that as the country transitions from a decade old mining boom, it can no longer afford to rely on Chinese demands for iron ore and coal that made it possible for Australians to avoid a recession during the recent global economic turndown.

“With the end of the China resources boom, we can no longer afford to have all our eggs just in one basket,” Rudd said speaking at a press conference at the Parliament House in Canberra, August 4, 2013.

The prime minister said the election is about who Australians can “trust.”

“Who do the Australian people trust to best lead them through the new economic challenges that lie ahead?” Rudd asked.

Rudd said he accepted that his center-left Labor Party was not favored to win, saying his advisers had told him that if the election had been held this weekend, his government would have lost. Reports say his labor party has been tarnished by divisions and dysfunction within the party.

Media pundits say Rudd, 55, will need to change his negative image to that of a leader with a program to steer the nation in the right direction.

Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, 55, federal leader of the center-right Liberal Party of Australia delivered his opening pitch in the 2013 election, also promising “positive plans for the future.”

Referring to divisions and infighting with the Rudd’s labor party, Abbott said,

“An exasperated Australian public are seeking certainty and stability and the only way they will get it, the only place they will find it, is with this Liberal-National coalition,” he said in Canberra on Friday.

Referring to infighting and divisions within the Labor party led by Rudd, Abbott said Labor, was in no position to argue a case to be returned to lead the country “after twice tearing down a sitting prime minister.”

He contrasted his party by saying, “We have been a model of stability and constancy in the last three years.” He added the election would be about “competing values and competing visions.”

According to Abbott, the greatest challenge facing the country was stopping the asylum-seeker boats.

“The choice couldn’t be clearer,” Abbott said. “The choice is between the positive plans of the coalition and more of the same under the Australian Labor Party.”

According to reports, the latest economic figures show a sharp decline in the nation’s finances. The estimated deficit for the current fiscal year showed 30.1 billion Australian dollars ($26.8 billion) because of slowdown to the mining industry.

According to reports the key issues facing the country are the economy, asylum seekers and climate change.

Speaking about both the candidates, Andrew Hughes, political marketing researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra said, “Voters will be looking to see if these men can overcome their flaws. Rudd will want to show he can delegate to his team and rule in an organized, efficient way, while Abbott needs to display that he’s more than just an aggressive opposition leader.”

By Perviz Walji

Sources: Chron.com, BBC News, Bloomberg.com, International Business Times

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