Australia’s PM says predecessor ‘undermined democracy’ with secret roles

Photo Credit: NBC News

“Its completely extraordinary that these appointments were kept secret by the Morrison government from the Australian people,” said current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his predecessor Scott Morrison had “undermined our democracy” by secretly appointing himself minister for home affairs and treasury during the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the health, finance and resources portfolios previously revealed.

Morrison, who stepped down as leader of the Liberal Party after losing an election in May, has come under fire from senior members of his own party and its coalition partner, the National Party, who were unaware of the arrangements.

After a review of the matter by the Prime Minister’s department, Albanese told reporters Morrison had taken on the health and finance portfolios in March 2020, home affairs and treasury in May 2021, and resources in April 2021.

“Its completely extraordinary that these appointments were kept secret by the Morrison government from the Australian people,” he said.

Albanese will receive legal advice on the issue from the solicitor general on Monday, and said he was critical of the Morrison government for allowing a centralization of power by the prime minister.

Former home affairs minister in Morrison’s government, Karen Andrews, said she had no knowledge that Morrison also held the role, and called for Morrison to resign from parliament.

“You can’t govern in a veil of secrecy,” Andrews, a Liberal Party lawmaker, told ABC radio after Albanese’s press conference.

Former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who left politics after losing his seat in the May election, was also unaware Morrison held responsibility for treasury, The Australian newspaper reported.

-NBC News

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