Australia's Abbott begins transition but faces hurdles
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott on Monday began the transition to government as he faced potential hurdles in the upper house Senate to drive through his reform agenda.
The conservative leader, who ended six years of Labor rule on Saturday, arrived in Canberra for meetings to hammer out the way forward, ahead of being sworn in to take over from Mr Kevin Rudd, likely next week.
He has begun forming his front bench, so far confirming that National Party leader Warren Truss will be his deputy and keep his infrastructure portfolio, Ms Julie Bishop will be foreign minister and Joe Hockey the treasurer.
But while Mr Abbott's Liberal/National coalition is forecast to enjoy a 32-seat majority on the lower House of Representatives, the makeup of the Senate is not yet clear.