Kevin Rudd sworn in as Australia’s 26th PM

Kevin Rudd sworn in as Australia’s 26th PM


Melbourne: Labour party leader Kevin Rudd, who swept to power nine days ago routing the coalition led by Conservative Prime Minister John Howard, was officially sworn in as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister.

In a brief ceremony in Canberra, Rudd took the oath of office before Governor-General Michael Jeffrey. His deputy Julia Gillard was also sworn in.

The new premier’s oath taking ceremony was attended by his wife Therese Rein and children. The swearing of the two leaders is to be followed by the swearing in of the rest of the ministry.

Rudd is said to be taking a full ministry meeting this afternoon, as the new government prepares for a vigorous start to its work.

His areas of emphasis, industrial relations and education, would see some preparations starting before Christmas. Interim legislation on industrial relations will be introduced as soon as the new Parliament commences in early February.

Rudd, who has promised to take the cabinet out of Canberra regularly, will meet the cabinet in his home town of Brisbane. He led the Labour party to its first federal electoral victory in 11-and-a-half years.

The Labour Party leader is set to launch a new era in which he has pledged to roll back many of his conservative predecessor’s policies.

Rudd trounced John Howard’s 11-year-old coalition government to take the office of the Prime Minister.

In a sharp break with Howard’s policies, the new prime minister has promised to sign the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, pull Australian troops out of Iraq and dismantle union-busting labour laws.