The Australia elections got a bit weird just as landslide winner Tony Abbott took the stage before his cheering supporters.
Abbot’s opponent in the election had just officially conceded, and Abbott had triumphantly stepped to the stage to join his wife and three daughters when some dude carrying a red folder decided to gatecrash the festivities.
Abbott shook his hand and gave him an odd look as the man photobombed the family pictures on stage for about a minute.
Abbott’s security detail — which seemed to be a little late to the party — finally the hustled the guy off the stage as Abbott’s daughters closed ranks around him. Now that Tony Abbot is officially the country’s prime minister, his bodyguards obviously need to be a lot more on the ball.
Fortunately the gatecrasher was a nonviolent protester but who has a history of heckling other Australian politicians. According to the Guardian, “The stage invader at the Liberal party celebration last night has been identified as serial protester Fregmonto Stokes, a 25-year-old Melbourne playwriting student who called himself Twiggy Palmcock and faked his way into the function using a wristband made of lolly-wrappers.”
Australia’s new prime minister — who takes office almost immediately — is the leader of the conservative, right-of-center coalition which, to make things a bit confusing for Americans, in Australia is called the Liberal-National Party. Some votes are still being counted, but the conservative coalition appears to have won about 90 seats in 150-member Australian House of Representatives, giving Abbott a comfortable parliamentary majority. Abbot’s conservative coalition soundly defeated the Labor Party (equivalent to the liberal/left Democrats in the US) led by outgoing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
“For just the seventh time in 60 years the government of Australia has changed,” Abbott told his supporters at the Sydney Four Seasons hotel and those citizens watching at home on TV. “I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy, and which purposely and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to you, the Australian people.” He added that “Australia is under new management and Australia is once again open for business.”