Malcolm Turnbull out, Scott Morrison in as Australian PM

Instead, Dutton is expected to face Treasurer Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to decide who will be Australia's sixth prime minister in the last decade.

Morrison - an evangelical Christian known as "ScoMo" - replaced a man who became the latest in a long line of leaders knifed in the back by ambitious colleagues.

A spokesperson for the prime minister said Mr Morrison used the call to invite Mr Trump to visit Australia.

After days of uncertainty, Australia finally has a new prime minister - their fifth in eight years - following a dramatic leadership battle.

Australia government lawmakers on Friday elected Treasurer Scott Morrison as the next prime minister in a ballot that continues an era of extraordinary political instability.

"In Australia it is the old British system, where if your caucus members want to undo you, they can and they can appoint whoever they want", said Nelson Wiseman, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

Before the ballot, Mr Turnbull said that if he lost the prime ministership he would resign from parliament, leaving the new government facing a by-election for his Sydney seat that could see it lose its one-seat majority. He also described Duttons actions as "madness" and "a determined insurgency".

"Australia is New Zealand's most important partner", said Ms Ardern.

"The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative".


Morrison said on Saturday his first official visit as prime minister would be to the drought-stricken state of Queensland next week.

Ousted Australian premier Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, March 27, 2018. The coalition has consistently trailed the opposition Labor party in opinion polls in recent months and must call a new election by May 2019.

US President Donald Trump did not mince his words with previous Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull.

"I am looking forward to working with Mr Morrison to advance that". "I relish it", he said after rising to the country's highest political role.

In the run-up to the party coup, Twitter was filled with the hashtag #libspill, a reference to the Liberal party's leadership spill - with one left-leaning tweeter calling it the country's "national sport".

He built his reputation in the party as a tough but effective operator when he took on the immigration portfolio from 2013-14, implementing the controversial "Operation Sovereign Borders" to stop asylum-seekers arriving in Australia by boat.

Australian shares are down more than 1.5% since the first leadership challenge this week.

Previous year the deeply Christian Morrison attracted more controversy for opposing a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, even though it had strong support from his party.


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