Anthony Albanese, who succeeded Scott Morrison as Australian Prime Minister following the nation’s federal election in May, is seeking legal advice after it was reported his predecessor was secretly sworn into three ministry positions while in government. Mr Albanese alleged Mr Morrison was “running a Shadow government” and went on to claim it was “extraordinary and unprecedented”.
Speaking at a press conference in Melbourne, the current Australian Prime Minister suggested the reported appointments were “the sort of tin-pot activity that we would ridicule if it was in a non-democratic country”.
He added: “Australians knew during the election campaign that I was running a shadow ministry.
“What they didn’t know was that Scott Morrison was running a shadow government. A Shadow Government that was operating in the shadows.”
Albanese also questioned how appointments were made.
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He said: “In Australia, we have a Westminster system of government that produces accountability.
“In Parliament, I, as leader of my party, and Peter Dutton now, but Scott Morrison as the former leader of the country, would table the list of ministers.
“That is not some academic exercise. That is so that people can be held accountable.
“How is it that the Governor-General could swear in Scott Morrison into ministerial portfolios without there being a transparency there about that process?”
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However, it is understood Mr Morrison did not use the ministerial powers for the health or finance portfolios, both of which he is alleged to have taken up.
Ex-Labor leader Bill Shorten also took aim at the former Prime Minister.
Mr Shorten, who faced off against Mr Morrison as Leader of the Opposition in Canberra, said: “If you’re going to do things that are unorthodox, you really need to have a very good explanation and I haven’t heard one yet.
“I don’t know if it’s some messianic complex or he thought he was the Australian version of Kanye, but this is actually a serious matter.”