Australian PM could launch investigation into secret ministries saga

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Sunday his government may consider an investigation into former Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly sworn into key ministries during the coronavirus pandemic.

Morrison, who resigned as leader of the Liberal Party after losing the general election in May, was secretly sworn in to five key ministries during the pandemic in an unprecedented power grab, he revealed. this week.

The action drew criticism from the Labor government and Morrison’s own party, but the former prime minister defended the measures on the grounds that he felt the nation’s responsibility for the pandemic was his own.

On Sunday, Albanese said the government would receive advice on Monday from the solicitor general, the nation’s second-highest law officer, on the legality of Morrison’s actions.

Former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a news conference in Sydney on August 17, 2022. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his predecessor Scott Morrison secretly seized control of five cabinet posts, calling it a ‘trail unprecedented in our democracy”.

Steven Saphore | AFP | Getty Images

Albanese said the government would also consider an investigation and reforms to ensure the actions could not be repeated.

“We will look at all these matters after receiving advice from the Solicitor General. I run a proper cabinet government, which has proper processes, and we will give it due consideration,” Albanese told Sky News television.

He said that while the Solicitor General would advise on legal issues, there were also broader issues that needed to be explored.

“There are separate questions about how our democracy works, about conventions and whether conventions have been canceled, and whether there is a need for the necessary reforms to ensure that something like this can never happen again. “said the Prime Minister.

Albanese previously said Morrison attacked the Westminster system of government by secretly appointing himself to the portfolios, which included Home Affairs, Treasury, Health, Finance and Resources between 2020 and 2021.

Morrison said he did not “take over” the ministries, after being sworn in by the governor-general, and no ministers were interfered with except on one occasion, when he rejected a resource bill.

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