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Australia: “Put up – or shut up, Kevin Rudd!”

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Tension appears to be at the boiling point between Australia’s prime minister Julia Gillard and the former PM, Kevin Rudd. Rudd, now foreign minister, was ousted in a shock party coup in June 2010 by Gillard, then his deputy. But she is now badly lagging in the polls and talk has intensified that he is preparing to challenge her to take the job back, AFP reports.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard insists she has strong support from her Labor colleagues as party critics told Kevin Rudd to “put up or shut up”, according to news sources.

Party insiders were cited by the media as saying a leadership ballot could come as early as next Monday, when parliament sits again. When ashked, Gillard dodged questions on whether she would call a leadership ballot.

“I’m getting on with the job with the strong support of my caucus colleagues,” she told reporters on Monday.

Rudd is currently in Mexico for the G20 meeting.

The Editorial Staff of