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Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop resigns from the Cabinet



SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Sunday she had resigned from the cabinet of new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, two days after a bloody leadership battle that toppled former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

FILE PHOTO: Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop arrives on August 23, 201

8 at the House of Representatives in Canberra, Australia. AAP / Lukas Coch / via REUTERS

The bishop announced that they would move to the back seat had not yet decided whether the next elections, which should take place until May 2019, are pending. This decision could have serious consequences for the Morrison government, which has a single-seat parliamentary majority.

Morrison emerged as the surprise winner of Friday's party election to replace Turnbull after a week of political chaos in Canberra that marked the emergence of Australia's sixth prime minister in less than 10 years.

He took over the post of leader of the Liberal Party, the senior partner in a liberal-national coalition, which has consistently outperformed opinion polls of the opposition Labor Party in recent months.

Bishop denies the vote on Friday, but is eliminated in the first round. Morrison then emerges as a surprise compromise winner over Peter Dutton, Turnbull's conservative challenger, who has turned the leadership crisis on its head earlier this week.

"I will stay in the back seat as a strong voice for Western Australia," Bishop said in a statement shortly after she returned to her home state.

The possibility that Bishop might leave Parliament before the next election will be a big problem for Morrison, Turnbull's former treasurer, as it opens up the possibility of another by-election for their seat.

His party will already have to challenge a by-election for Turnbull's port election in Sydney, traditionally a secure liberal seat. Turnbull's resignation from parliament was expected next week.

Morrison has spent his first two full days working on a new Cabinet, though the only confirmed change is that his Liberal MP and former Energy Minister Josh Frydenburg will take on the role of Treasurer.

Reporting by Alison Bevege; Edited by Paul Tait

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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