Australian defence minister Stephen Smith says Tirin Kot base to close at end of 2013, most Oz personnel to have returned home
CANBERRA, March 22 (Reuters) – Australia’s Prime Minister
Julia Gillard faced a string of ministerial resignations on
Friday in the wake of a botched leadership coup against her,
forcing a reshuffle of her Labor government just months from
potentially disastrous elections.
Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said he would step down,
joining departing Cabinet colleagues Simon Crean and Chris
Bowen, as well as junior minister Kim Carr. All had backed
Gillard’s chief rival Kevin Rudd as the party’s best hope to
reverse polls pointing to a thrashing by conservative opponents
at the Sept. 14 elections.