Australian Labor gets new leader

AFP-JIJI

Former union chief Bill Shorten was elected Australia’s new Labor leader Sunday, with the party pledging to draw a line under years of infighting that saw two prime ministers toppled.

Shorten, an ambitious former head of the Australian Workers’ Union, beat former Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in a month-long leadership race which went to a combined vote of Labor lawmakers and the party’s rank-and-file members for the first time in its history.

Shorten, 46, secured victory by winning 55 of the 86 votes on offer from his parliamentary colleagues — some 64 percent — despite Albanese winning 60 percent of the popular membership vote.

Both ballots were weighted equally, meaning Shorten won 52.02 percent of the combined total.