The party coup to install Malcolm Turnbull as Australia’s fourth prime minister in just over two years has exposed deep unease about the resource-dependent country’s sharply slowing economy and a political system that lets small groups of politicians oust elected leaders.
The 60-year-old former investment banker unseated Tony Abbott as leader of the ruling Liberal-National coalition government in a party rebellion, as voter surveys pointed to defeat for the ruling Liberal-National coalition at federal elections due next year. Mr. Turnbull was sworn and became the country’s 29th prime minister.
He now faces many of the same challenges as his predecessor, first among them how to revive an economy in which a recession may be imminent after 24 years of avoiding one. Australia’s economy expanded just 0.2% in the second quarter from the first, the slowest pace in four years, as China’s slowing economy translates into less construction of skyscrapers, bridges and railways—hurting demand for raw materials like iron ore.
“We need to have in this country…an economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face, that describes the way in which we can handle those challenges, seize those opportunities, and does so in a manner that the Australian people understand,” Mr. Turnbull said.
The latest ouster caps nearly a decade of instability in Australian politics that has splintered both major political parties.