Oz hung, first woman PM may lose her job

Sydney, Aug. 21: Australia faced its first hung parliament in 70 years on Saturday after a furious voter backlash against the Prime Minister, Ms Julia Gillard, who ousted an elected leader just eight weeks ago.

Ms Gillard, who became the country’s first woman prime minister in a sudden party coup, was lagging her conservative rivals in national polls with 70 seats to 72, public broadcaster ABC said as vote counting went deep into the night.

The Labour leader, 48, conceded her centre-left party would not gain the 76 seats needed for an outright majority and would rely on the support of parliament's projected four independent lawmakers.

“The people have spoken, but it's going to take a little while to determine exactly what they have said,” Gillard told supporters in Melbourne.

“What we know from tonight's result is there will be a number of independents in the house of representatives playing a role as the next government of Australia is formed,” she added.

Analysts said Australia could be in limbo for up to two weeks as parties horse-trade for leadership of the 150-seat lower house.

“What is clear is that the Labour Party has definitely lost its majority,” the opposition leader, Mr Tony Abbott, of the conservative Liberal/National coalition, told supporters.

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