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Rudd backs Gillard as Australian PM after much prompting

Published on Sep 13, 2012 10:14 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Former Australian leader Kevin Rudd has thrown his support behind the woman who ousted him, Ms Julia Gillard, to lead Labor at the next election, but only after repeated prompting.

In his first major interview since trying to unseat his arch foe in February, Mr Rudd also made clear he "won't be silenced" from speaking out on major issues.

Now a backbencher, Mr Rudd, also a former foreign minister, is widely believed to still harbour strong leadership ambitions and had to be pushed to mention Gillard's name.

"Of course the government can prevail against Mr (Tony) Abbott at the next election," he told ABC television late Wednesday, referring to the conservative opposition leader.

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