By Robert A. Vella

Embattled Tony Abbott was unceremoniously ousted last night as head of the government and leader of the country’s conservative Liberal Party.  The more moderate Malcolm Turnbull replaced him and will become Australia’s 29th prime minister.

Since his party’s electoral victory in 2013, Mr. Abbott has come under increasing scrutiny as both an unabashed authoritarian and political obstacle to climate change mitigation.  His hard-line stances against same-sex marriage, and in support of expanded coal exports, have garnered much domestic and international criticism and which prompted former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown to refer to Abbott as “a poor man’s George W Bush.”

Further reading:  Malcolm Turnbull wins Liberal leadership

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