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Morrison rejects Labor’s call to call out Donald Trump

Australia will patiently wait for an outcome in the United States election, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison refusing an opposition call to urge Donald Trump to respect the democratic process.

The Australian leader reiterated on Saturday that he will happily work with his US counterpart, regardless of who it is, as Democrat Joe Biden inched closer to the presidency.

Mr Morrison said it was “frankly a little bit odd” that Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese suggested he contact Mr Trump to convey Australia’s view that the democratic process must be respected.

“It’s a suggestion that he may be trying to import the politics of the United States into Australia,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Hobart of Mr Albanese’s call.

“I don’t know why you would want to do that. They have their domestic politics, we will leave that to them.”

Mr Trump has already flagged legal challenges to the voting process and Mr Albenese wants Australia to contact the president.

“It is absolutely in Australia’s national interest that the United States remains a stable and a credible democracy,” he said on Friday.

Mr Morrison said such a move would be divisive and unnecessary.

“We are respecting their processes. Their institutions are incredibly strong,” the prime minister said of the US voting procedure.

“I find it frankly a little bit odd that he (Mr Albanese) would think that Australia should take a different position to every other world leader … we should be patient.”

Senior Labor MP Jason Clare echoed his party leader’s call for intervention.

“What Donald Trump said the other day about stopping counting the votes, that’s not how democracy works. And that’s why political leaders around the world should be speaking up and saying we need to make sure the process is completed,” he told ABC TV on Saturday.

“We also should be concerned about some of the language Donald Trump used yesterday, suggesting that the election was being stolen. In a country as divided and as angry as America, that’s like a match on a tinderbox.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern doesn’t plan to contact Mr Trump.

“No one in New Zealand would expect any other leader in any other country to be seen to be interfering or commentating on anyone else’s electoral process,” she said.


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