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NY Liberal Party in meltdown

  1. Dave R

    39,000 Posts.
    3
    Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles refuses to quit after being dumped in a late-night coup

    105.7 ABC Darwin
    By Steven Schubert and Xavier La Canna
    The Northern Territory is in a political crisis as Chief Minister Adam Giles refuses to relinquish power despite losing the confidence of his party.
    Mr Giles was axed by his parliamentary colleagues in a late-night party room coup on Monday that installed Mr Westra van Holthe as the new leader of the Country Liberal Party and John Elferink as the new deputy leader.
    But he has since refused to sign a resignation letter.
    This afternoon he fronted a press conference to say he was "still the Chief Minister".
    "I am sworn in as the Chief Minister," he said.
    Who is Willem Westra van Holthe?


    Katherine MLA and former policeman Willem Westra van Holthe has been elevated to the NT's top job.
    "I note that Willem Westra van Holthe believes that he is to be anointed as the Chief Minister.
    "There has been a range of discussions as I understand it going on today. Quite frankly, I don't think that Willem Westra van Holthe has the capacity, capability or the tenacity or the professionalism to be the chief minister."
    Mr Giles said there was "every possibility" the NT would have an election within the next three months.
    The move left the NT without an obvious leader, and Administrator John Hardy stood in to act as chief minister at a parliamentary event on Tuesday.
    A parliamentary wing meeting will be held at 3:30pm (CST).
    The ABC understood the party room vote last night was split nine to five.
    Mr Giles said Mr Westra van Holthe had made "quite a tactical error".
    "If you do want to be chief minister surely you get your numbers right and get government right," he said.
    "I don't really know what is going to happen. I can't support Willem as chief minister. I think that is a fundamental error."
    Country Liberals have completely disintegrated: Giles

    In an extraordinary 12-minute press conference, Mr Giles initially spoke for four minutes without addressing the leadership question.
    Who is Adam Giles?


    Adam Giles was Australia's first Indigenous head of government.

    The 41-year-old father of one is the Member for Braitling.

    He was born in the Blue Mountains region of NSW and studied accounting and real estate.

    He worked in public housing management for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, then moved to Canberra and worked for the Department of the PM.

    In 2004 he stood as the Liberal candidate for the ACT electorate of Fraser.

    He later settled in Alice Springs, and stood as a CLP candidate for Lingiari in 2007.

    He lost, but was elected to the seat of Braitling in the 2008 Territory election.

    He became Transport Minister after the 2012 election.

    He had recently faced concerns about his leadership style, his personal judgement, his communication with the public and his handling of the scandal surrounding former Police Commissioner John McRoberts.
    He later questioned whether the Country Liberal Party still had the 500 members necessary to be registered as a political party in the Northern Territory.
    "I would actually be questioning right now whether the CLP has the 500 members needed to be a registered party themselves," he said.
    "The number of resignations that have come through today to the party I am advised by the president is quite significant."
    He said "warring factions" had seen the party "completely disintegrate".
    "There is no doubt that the Country Liberals have been divided for many, many, many years on a range of different areas, policy and structural and personalities," he said.
    Mr Giles, who rolled former chief minister Terry Mills in 2013, described last night's coup as "disgraceful".
    "It is immature politics. If you wanted to change leaders come and talk to me. Work it out so there is a seamless process."
    He said "scurrilous rumours" and "rogue allegations" were being spread "through the upper echelons of the police force" in regards to an investigation into the pensioner care and travel concession scheme.
    He announced a full judicial inquiry into the scheme.
    Lee says she and Anderson will not rejoin CLP

    Former Country Liberals member Larisa Lee took to Twitter to reject speculation herself and former Country Liberals member Alison Anderson were seeking to rejoin their former party.
    The two left the party last year amid claims of racism in the Country Liberals and lack of action in their remote electorates.
    Larisa Lee tweeted at 3:17pm (CST):
    LL and AA not going back to the CLP .. Now you know!
    They, along with fellow CLP member Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu, joined the Palmer United Party (PUP).
    Mr Kurrupuwu returned to the CLP in September last year, while Ms Anderson and Ms Lee left PUP to sit in Parliament as independents.
    Any moves for them to return to the Country Liberals could impact on support for Mr Giles or Mr Westra van Holthe.
    Earlier former Deputy Chief Minister David Tollner said an election should be called in the Northern Territory, while senior Country Liberals member and Speaker of the NT Parliament, Kezia Purick, indicated more leadership turmoil could yet be in store.
    Constitutional law expert Dr Ron Levy from the Australian National University said Mr Giles would remain as chief minister until the Administrator decided otherwise.
    Mr Giles was believed to have been dumped amid fears his party was heading for an electoral disaster similar in scale to what occurred in the recent Queensland election when the Liberal National Party suffered a huge swing against it.
    Mr Westra van Holthe was announced as the new leader during a brief press conference at 1:00am.
    CLP Management Committee meets

    Meanwhile, the Management Committee of the Country Liberals in the Northern Territory met for emergency discussions.
    Members of the Country Liberals committee, many of whom are strong supporters of Mr Giles, went into the meeting on Tuesday morning amid speculation they may be seeking to retaliate against MPs behind Monday night's events.
    Social media reacts


    Adam Giles's dumping as NT's chief minister lights up social media
    They emerged for a break before lunch and said that would not occur, but that talks would resume later in the day.
    Party president Jason Newman said CLP management was not given warning ahead of Monday night's vote and many rank-and-file members would be unhappy with developments.
    "Certainly right now there is a lot of frustration with the entire parliamentary wing," Mr Newman said.
    "I think this is something that naturally doesn't look good," he said.
    An election in the NT was last held in August 2012 and another is not due until next year.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    May not even still have the 500 members required to be a registered political party!!!!!!
    Dave R.

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