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Australia Votes 2007: Outgoing treasurer will not stand for Liberal leadership

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Speaking in Melbourne today, outgoing Australian treasurer, Peter Costello, made a shock announcement that he will not stand for leadership of the Liberal party following the Howard government's defeat in Saturday's election. Mr Costello had been touted by outgoing Prime Minister John Howard as his likely successor.

It is believed that Mr Costello had long dreamed of becoming Prime Minister. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr Costello "looked strained" and that "tears appeared to brim in his eyes" as he made his announcement.

Mr Costello said he would serve out his three year term as member for Higgins on the backbench, mentoring the up and coming members of the Liberal party before moving on to a career in the private sector.

"The time has come for me to open a new chapter in my life. I will be looking to build a career, post-politics, in the commercial world," he said. "As a consequence of that, I will not seek, nor will I accept, the leadership or deputy leadership of the Liberal Party."

The outgoing treasurer said he believed it was time for young members of the party to have an opportunity to advance the party.

"I do believe that it is time for the young people of talent and ability - of whom there are many - to be given their go in the Liberal Party," he said. "Just as I was given my go in the early 1990s, I think it's time for them to have their go."

Malcolm Turnbull has so far been the only Liberal member to indicate his intentions to run for leadership of the Liberal party. "I will be a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party at the next party meeting," he said.

"I will deliver, if elected to the leadership of the Liberal Party, the energy and the drive and the determination to win and the commitment to deliver new ideas, new policies, new agendas for the advancement of our country."

Sources

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: Election 2007