Australia federal election underway to elect prime minister
More than 17 million Australians will elect 151 parliament members
Millions of Australians are casting votes in federal elections Saturday to elect the country’s new prime minister as a tough contest is expected between the two major parties.
Voting is underway which began at 8 a.m. local time while polling stations will close at 6 p.m.
More than 17.2 million eligible voters will elect 151 members of the House of Representatives.
A tough contest is expected between Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party and opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s center-left Labour Party.
Initial results will be announced Saturday night. A survey conducted by Australian newspapers showed Albanese slightly ahead of Morrison.
Under election rules, voting is mandatory for those aged 18 and older.
According to the Election Commission, 8 million people have already voted including 5.54 million at pre-poll centers, 2.73 million applied for a postal vote, 27,000 cast a vote with a mobile team and 45,000 have registered for a telephone vote.
More than 7,000 voting centers have been established with over 105,000 personnel deployed across Australia, said the Commission.
*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid
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