Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s former opposition leader who announced plans last month to retire from parliament, has reversed his decision and said he will contest his Sydney seat at the next election.
Turnbull, 55, said on his website he will run again for the electorate of Wentworth, an eastern suburb of Sydney, in the next election. It is not known what role Turnbull would play in the federal Liberal Party, according to a Sky News report.
“I have been overwhelmed by the many local residents and members of the Liberal party who have urged me personally and via hundreds of e-mails and letters to reconsider my decision and run again,” Turnbull said in the statement. “I have carefully reconsidered my decision, as my party and many of my constituents have asked me to do. I have taken the decision to re-contest the seat fully understanding the commitment required of those who seek election to public office.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, 52, defeated Turnbull by one vote in a leadership ballot in December, ending his 14-month tenure, after Turnbull’s support for the Labor government’s proposed emissions-trading plan split the Liberal-National coalition.
Turnbull, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive, staked his position as opposition leader on a deal struck with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, 52, to pass carbon-trading legislation before last December’s Copenhagen summit on global warming. The leadership change killed the legislation.
Abbott, backed by a slim majority in the coalition, rejected the emissions trading plan as a “great big tax” that would “provide politicized hand-outs run by giant bureaucracy.”
“Having got to the top of my own party and become the leader, and then that having come to an end, in some fairly trying circumstances,” it is now time to move on “without any bitterness or resentment,” Turnbull, who represents the country’s wealthiest electorate, said on April 6 when he announced his resignation.