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Friday, September 14, 2018, 15:32
Australian PM warns predecessor to back down
By Xinhua
Friday, September 14, 2018, 15:32 By Xinhua

In this Aug 24, 2018, photo, new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison takes part in an oath-taking ceremony to become the nation's new leader at Government House in Canberra. (SAEED KHAN / AFP)

CANBERRA — Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull to stop undermining the government. 

Scott Morrison succeeded Turnbull as PM after the governing Liberal Party in August voted to depose Turnbull as leader and install Morrison

Australia's national broadsheet newspaper, The Australian, reported on Friday that Morrison's office has reached out to Turnbull, "seeking a detente after weeks of damaging leaks against the new Morrison government." 

It came after Turnbull on Thursday called on the government to refer Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton to the High Court over concerns that he is in breach of the Australian Constitution and is ineligible to serve in parliament. 

ALSO READ: Aussie minister faces sanction over 'sexual predator' accusation

Morrison's own party defied his wishes on Friday by nominating a former diplomat instead of a female candidate to run in a crucial by-election for a seat that belonged to the man he deposed in a leadership coup.

Morrison's Liberal party, the senior partner in a Liberal-National coalition, nominated Dave Sharma to run in the blue ribbon Sydney seat of Wentworth in the Oct 20 by-election, another sign of the deep fractures within the party. 

In this May 2, 2018, photo, Australia's former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull talks in a press conference in Sydney. (LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP)

The appeal by Morrison's staff reportedly warned Turnbull that his social media commentary on the Dutton saga was "putting future government at grave risk." 

The by-election was called when former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull resigned from parliament after losing the leadership in a party-room ballot last month, handing Australia its sixth prime minister in 10 years. 

READ MORE: Aussie govt under threat as voters punish political infighting

Morrison succeeded Turnbull as PM after the governing Liberal Party in August voted to depose Turnbull as leader and install Morrison. 

Turnbull retired from politics following the leadership ballot.

With inputs from Reuters

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