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Oz kingmakers present conditions for support

The three independent lawmakers who have emerged as kingmakers after the cliff-hanger Australian general elections have made seven "requests" to two main contenders PM Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abott for supporting.



Melbourne: The three independent lawmakers
who have emerged as kingmakers after the cliff-hanger
Australian general elections have made seven "requests" to two
main contenders Premier Julia Gillard and opposition leader
Tony Abott on conditions for supporting their bid for power.

Four days after the federal election that delivered
Australia its first hung Parliament in 70 years, the
kingmaking independents - Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Bob
Katter - presented their conditions for extending support to
their coalitions.
The Australian Electoral Commission said today that
the ruling Labor Party had likely won 70 seats in the House of
Representatives and the Liberal-led coalition 72 seats, with
more 79 per cent of the vote counted.

However, Abbott has risked angering the three men by
refusing point blank to allow them access to Treasury costings
of Coalition election promises, but Gillard has offered to
name the date for the next federal polls in three years` time,
Sydney Morning Herald reported.

As well as demanding each commit to a three-year term,
their primary request was that both leaders waive the
caretaker conventions so the trio could see the costings of
both sides` election promises by Tuesday, the paper said.

The independents wanted "a written commitment that
whoever forms majority government will commit to a full
three-year term, and for an explanation in writing in this
same letter as to how this commitment to a full term will be
fulfilled, either by enabling legislation or other means."

"We need to establish the budget bottom line," Windsor
said. Gillard readily agreed but Abbott refused.

Instead he offered briefings by his shadow ministers
and by the independent accounting firm the Coalition used to
cost its promises, the Age reported.
The independents could not be contacted last night.
During the campaign, the Coalition said Treasury could not be
trusted.

Abbott has also put forward the radical idea of making
Labor`s existing parliamentary Speaker, Harry Jenkins, an
independent speaker on the British model, as part of an
extensive overhaul of Parliament.

PTI

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