Australia PM Turnbull clings to power, offers fresh leadership vote
CANBERRA, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister
Malcolm Turnbull stubbornly clung to power on Thursday, as
senior ministers deserted him, saying he would hold a second
leadership vote on Friday if he received a letter signed by the
majority of the ruling Liberal party.
Turnbull narrowly won a leadership vote on Tuesday against
former home affairs minister Peter Dutton. Dutton and senior
ministers on Thursday called for a second ballot.
Turnbull said if he received the letter requesting a fresh
vote, he would call a party meeting for midday on Friday (0200
GMT). If a leadership spill motion was then passed, he would not
stand in the vote.
"If the motion is carried, I will treat that as a vote of no
confidence and I will not stand as a candidate in the ballot,"
Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.
(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Michael Perry)
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