Mixed reactions to Kevin Rudd’s retirement from politics
Sydney – Former Australian Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has wound up his 15-years of political career today, while his friends and opponents remain divided over his legacy.
The 56-year old is retiring from politics to give back some time to his family and kept a low profile on his final day in the parliament, News.com.au reports.
Julia Gillard, with whom Rudd had fought a three-year long brutal leadership feud, used social media to wish him well in his retirement.
Treasurer Joe Hockey, who became friends with Rudd when the two walked the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, said he had a great intellect and deserved praise for his 2008 apology to indigenous Australians for past injustices, but added that his great weakness was losing support from his own team and from voters over key policies, such as the price on carbon.
According to the report, Rudd’s resignation will force a by-election for his Brisbane seat of Griffith, likely to be held in February.
The Queensland Liberal National Party (LNP) has started seeking donations to fund the by-election, hopeful of victory after high-profile candidate Bill Glasson won 5.5 percent votes on September 7, putting the seat within reach for the coalition.
Rudd will remain active in international relations and set up a foundation to help promote indigenous reconciliation, the report added.