Australian PM Names Predecessor as Foreign Affairs Minister

Kevin_RuddAlmost three months after she successfully staged a challenge to party leadership, and in effect the Prime Ministerial post of Australia, against her predecessor, Julia Gillard tapped her opponent as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Kevin Rudd, the 26th Prime Minister of Australia, was at the top post from December 3, 2007 until Gillard took over June 24 this year. Gillard then became the first female Prime Minister of Australia and had just survived in forming a minority government after this year’s elections.

“Kevin’s status as a former party leader and his undoubted capacity meant he is deserving of a senior portfolio where the government can best use his skills. His experience and intense interest in foreign affairs makes this the obvious choice,” Gillard said.

The move is seen as a step to heal any remaining internal divisions in the party.

Meanwhile, Stephen Smith, whom Rudd will be replacing, said that the appointment was “entirely appropriate.” He further said that “It reflects his standing as a former prime minister of our country.”