Aussie PM confident of being returned to parliament in drawn-out vote count

2016-07-05 07:39:36 GMT2016-07-05 15:39:36(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SYDNEY, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The ruling Liberal/National Coalition party is confident, "but not cocky" of reforming government in the coming days or weeks after a national election on Saturday left the result under a cloud.

As counting resumed on Tuesday in a begrudgingly slow ballot count that's pointing to a hung parliament, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was confident of being returned to government and advance the interests of the population into the future.

He did however take full responsibility for his party's campaign that put the nation into its current predicament, including a hostile senate and unknown lower-house makeup.

"The Australian people have voted, and we respect the result," Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday, conceding there was a high level of disillusionment with the government, politics and the major political parties among voters.

"We suffered a swing against us, and we recognise that.

"We need to listen very carefully to the concerns of the Australian people expressed through this election, and look at how we are going to address those concerns."

In what could be attributed to sour grapes however, he continued the attack against the opposition Labor party over their scare campaign that suggested the incumbent would privatise the nation's public health provider Medicare.

"This was a shocking lie. I'm not going to pretend it's anything else," Turnbull said, adding it was exposed as a "falsehood in the media and unable to be defended by (opposition leader Bill Shorten)."

"But a fact that significant numbers of people believed it, or at least believed it enough to change their vote, tells us that we have work to do and we are committed to that."

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told reporters he too was confident they would be returned to government.

"I'm confident, but not cocky that we will be the government, and the government will be formed in the very near future, in the next days or weeks," Joyce said.

"That coalition government will have at the forefront at its mind, how we take the lives and aspirations of the (Australian) people ahead."

The incumbent government however is facing a revolt in and outside its own party as the conservative wing of the Liberal party to make sure they are consulted on what offers are made to the cross-bench to secure power, should a minority government come about.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten told reporters in Brisbane Turnbull is considering calling a snap election to "sort out his own problems" due to the instability in the Liberal party and the "extreme parties now in the Senate".

Turnbull however reassured Australians "the coalition will dedicate our efforts to resolving the state of the next parliament without division or anger", a commitment he first gave early Sunday when it became clear the contest was not yet over.

"My job as the Prime Minister now is to get on and form the government as it is presented by the people, and get on and advance the interests of 24 million Australians who it our duty to serve."

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation election analysts reported there are currently 10 seats still in doubt, with the incumbent government holding 68, and the opposition Labor Party holding 67, with the Greens party and independents holding give seats. A party needs 76 seats are needed to form government.

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