BY BRETT MULLER
CANBERRA — Two weeks after the October 20 Australian Capital Territory election, the Labor Party claimed victory with eight seats in the 17-seat assembly. The Liberal Party won seven seats. Labor will form a minority government with the support of Greens MP Kerrie Tucker.
The Greens retained its one seat and the Australian Democrats narrowly captured its first seat in the ACT assembly. The Democrats' Roslyn Dundas won her seat ahead of Greens candidate Shane Rattenbury by just 48 votes.
Dundas told the Canberra Times that one of her first aims would be to remove abortion from the criminal code. Many pro-choice activists are hopeful that this will be possible with the removal of the Liberals and right-wing independents from government.
The new seats for Labor and the Democrats have come at the expense of right-wing independents Paul Osborne and Dave Rugendyke. Independent Michael Moore, the former health minister in the Liberal minority government, retired before the poll.
While the Labor Party won 42% of the vote and the Liberals 31%, one in three voters opted for parties other than the conservative major parties.
From Green Left Weekly, November 7, 2001.
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