Scott Morrison invites Donald Trump to Australia in first phone call

Australia leadership crisis: Peter Dutton 'cleared to remain in parliament' as party showdown looms

SYDNEY-A battle for control over Australia's ruling coalition, fueled by policy disputes and personal vendettas, ended with the prime minister's ouster but failed to close the rift that threatens the Liberal Party, the country's dominant conservative force.

He had told colleagues that he would not run for party leader against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Friday's ballot among Liberal Party lawmakers means Australia's sixth change of prime minister in 11 years, prolonging an era of extraordinary political instability.

"I'll be leaving the Parliament ... not before too long", he told reporters.

Politics expert Rob Manwaring of Flinders University said Morrison was likely to continue Turnbull's economic agenda, of which he was one of the main architects as treasurer.

He also said dealing with a severe drought, which has hit parts of eastern Australia, would be "our most urgent and pressing need right now". Morrison has ruled out calling an early general election but will face his first electoral test with a by-election for Turnbull's seat in Sydney.

"It is described by many people ... as a form of madness, and it is remarkable we're at this point where only a month ago we were being avid readers of polls, and we were just little bit behind Labor". He has been a longtime advocate for progressive social policies and action on climate change.

The disarray has stoked a political realignment in Australia, with a hodgepodge of independents and smaller parties, like the anti-immigration One Nation, stepping into the void to mop up disaffected voters.

"The Prime Minister invited the President to visit Australia".

Ousted Australian premier Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, March 27, 2018.

We're looking at you, Peter Dutton from Texas.

Another newbie on Mr Morrison's radar is Kelly O'Dwyer, who served as Revenue and Financial Services Minister but is expected to be given another role.

The right-wing of the party would prefer greater investment in the country's coal sector and policies to lower Australians' power prices.

Former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton needs 43 signatures for Turnbull to call a party room meeting and there are reports that number has quickly climbed over the past 24 hours.

Not a single leader in recent times has managed to complete a full term, a pattern many Australians say they are sick and exhausted of.

The dysfunction began when Turnbull was turfed out as leader of the then-opposition Liberal Party by his chief nemesis, arch conservative Tony Abbott in late 2009.

A year ago the deeply Christian Morrison attracted more controversy for opposing a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, even though it had strong support from his party.

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