PM Julia Gillard reshuffles cabinet ahead of election
AFPSYDNEY -- Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Saturday denied that her government was in chaos, after the resignation of two of her most senior ministers prompted a cabinet reshuffle ahead of a national election.
February 3, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
Saturday's announcement that the two ministers had quit came only three days after the Labor leader said elections would be held in September, an unusual step in Australia where polls are usually only called a few weeks in advance.
Gillard said Attorney General Nicola Roxon, the first woman in the job and a staunch supporter of the prime minister, and Senate leader Chris Evans, who has at times been acting prime minister, were leaving the cabinet immediately.
But she denied that the move had thrown her coalition government into chaos.
“Number one, I've named the election date, giving people more stability and certainty than they've ever had before,” Gillard told reporters in Canberra.
"Number two, I'm here today making what is a very long-planned announcement, having had the opportunity to discuss with both Chris and Nicola their views about their futures during the course of last year."