CANBERRA, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has on Monday declared that he will recontest his seat at the next election, despite being sensationally ousted from the top job late last year.
Abbott was overthrown by current Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull, after Abbott’s approval ratings and popularity within his own party dwindled at record lows.
But on Monday, despite previous insistence that he would take time out of Parliament to be with his family, Abbott said he would in fact be recontesting his seat of Warringah at the 2016 federal election.
In a statement, Abbott said it was his colleagues and close friends who had encouraged him to continue his political career.
“I have been heartened by the support and encouragement I’ve received to continue to serve the country as a member of Parliament,” Abbott said.
“Should I be renominated and elected, I am looking forward to working with Premier Mike Baird to ensure that the Warringah Peninsula gets better transport links to the rest of Sydney.”
Abbott will be just the second ousted Prime Minister – alongside Labor PM Kevin Rudd – to recontest their seat after being removed from the position, but close allies of the former PM said unlike Rudd, whose intention was to destabilize the Labor government after he was unceremoniously dumped, Abbott would only make a comeback into politics to serve the “Australian people.”
“Tony Abbott is absolutely no Kevin Rudd and therefore, I believe those sorts of analogies are not appropriate in any way, shape or form,” Senator Eric Abetz told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio on Monday.
“Kevin Rudd was always about one thing only: Kevin Rudd, whereas Tony Abbott has always been about one thing – the Australian people.”
Meanwhile the Opposition has slammed the move as counterproductive, with a spokesperson for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten describing Abbott as “the Terminator.”
“As hard as Malcolm Turnbull tries to get rid of Tony Abbott, he just can’t,” the spokesperson said on Monday.
Abbott has held the electoral division in Sydney for 22 years, in which time he rose up to Opposition Leader, and eventually Prime Minister in 2013.
A date for the Australian federal election is yet to be set.