Embattled Australian PM prepares cabinet reshuffle
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's embattled Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Saturday said she would announce a cabinet shake-up within days after losing four ministers who backed a failed Labor Party coup against her.
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, Tertiary Education Minister Chris Bowen and Human Services Minister Kim Carr quit on Friday after backing a return of former leader Kevin Rudd to save the party from defeat in September polls.
Respected Labor elder and Arts Minister Simon Crean was sacked on Thursday after calling for the leadership challenge which Mr Rudd ultimately failed to contest, while parliamentary secretary Richard Marles has also quit his post.
Ms Gillard said the leadership question was "behind us" and there would be no difficulty in filling the three cabinet positions left by Mr Ferguson, Mr Bowen and Mr Crean.