Kevin Rudd to challenge leadership

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Brisbane: Former Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd Friday announced he has decided to stand against Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Monday’s Labor Party leadership ballot.

Rudd made the announcement in front of media in Queensland’s Brisbane on Friday.

Rudd said the Labor party was “heading for the rocks at the next election”.

“That’s why I’m here today because I believe that to do the best for Australia and Labor things have to change,” he said.

“It is no secret that our government has a lot of work to do if it is to regain the confidence of the Australian people,” Xinhua quoted Rudd as saying.

“Rightly or wrongly Julia has lost the trust of the Australian people and starting on Monday I want to start restoring that trust. That’s why I have decided to contest the leadership of the Australian Labor Party.”

Rudd said he had been elected as the Prime Minister to govern the country for all Australians.

“I want to finish the job the Australian people elected me to do when I was elected by them to become Prime Minister,” he said.

Rudd resigned Wednesday, saying he no longer had the support of Julia Gillard.

He announced his resignation at a press conference in Washington.

“I cannot continue to serve as Foreign Minister if I do not have the Prime Minister’s support,” he said.