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Scott Morrison sworn-in as Australian prime minister

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison hosed down speculation of an early election and said on Friday a severe drought across the country's east will be his immediate priority. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Canberra ACT, Australia Aug 24, 2018, 02.07 PM (IST)

Liberal Party member Scott Morrison was today sworn-in as Australia's new prime minister after he won a party ballot leading to former PM Turnball's defeat.

">Watch: Scott Morrison replaces Malcolm Turnbull as Australia's new PM

In an unprecedented turnaround, Morrison won the party ballot 45-40 with Josh Frydenberg, the environment and energy minister, elected as deputy Liberal leader as Australian politics experienced another major upheaval.

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop, another Turnbull backer, was also in the running but was eliminated in the first round of voting.

Earlier in the day, former prime minister Turnbull had said that he had received a petition showing he has lost the majority support of his Liberal Party, triggering a vote on electing a new leader.

"I have just been provided with a request for a meeting of the Parliamentary Liberal Party. It has 43 signatures,"  Turnbull tweeted. 

Turnbull had survived one attempt on his leadership on Tuesday, winning a party room vote 48-35 but his partymen wanted another vote. Turnbull decided not to contest the second vote.

Australia has been plagued by political instability as no leader has managed to serve out a full term since former Prime Minister John Howard lost the elections in 2007.