SYDNEY, Sep 4 – Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has urged “snap” elections in Australia, describing the country as “almost ungovernable” due to the make-up of the Senate.
Murdoch said conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott remained by far the best choice of leader and criticised the centre-left opposition Labor Party as damaged by corrupt unions.
“Country almost ungovernable with any Senate majority impossible for either side to execute,” Murdoch tweeted late Thursday.
“Extreme greenies, increasing in support hold balance. Against growth and subsequent jobs. Seem beyond reason.”
Abbott’s Liberal/National coalition have a clear majority in the House of Representatives, but in the 76-seat Senate only hold 33 seats and need the support of others to pass legislation.
The last election in 2013 saw several fringe groups win seats, and the number of crossbenchers is now at a record high of 18, including 10 Greens Senators and eight from minor parties or independents.
“Govt must push on with reforms for sake of all sides or hold snap poll,” said Murdoch without specifying which reforms.
“Only hope is new poll with govt of all the talents ready to work together with clear mandate for reform, bringing in new, young able people.”
Abbott’s under-pressure government is battling with a slowing economy and lags behind Labor in opinion polls.
An election is expected in late 2016 but the government has until mid-January 2017 to hold polls for both the houses of parliament.
Murdoch said despite “some blind spots”, on which he failed to elaborate, Abbott was “the best alternative”.
He added that the prime minister was “principled” and “a fighter”.
Murdoch’s News Corp., which was founded in his homeland of Australia, was broken into two firms last year in a bid to insulate profitable entertainment assets from newspapers.
One firm retained the News Corp. name and focuses on news and publishing while the other, 21st Century Fox, manages the television and film assets.
News Corp’s stable includes The Wall Street Journal and New York Post newspapers in the United States; The Times, Sunday Times and The Sun in Britain and The Australian in Murdoch’s homeland.