Australia gets new deputy PM

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Former Australian deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, who was forced to resign, Australia, February 26, 2018. AAP/Mick Tsikas/via REUTERS

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A former newspaper editor was elected as deputy prime minister by the Australia’s coalition government yesterday. Michael McCormack was chosen in a party-room ballot to replace Barnaby Joyce as the leader of the rural-based National Party after Joyce resigned over an extramarital affair with his former media secretary. Joyce is expecting a child with his former staff member and has left his marriage of 24 years. McCormack won the seat over a single challenger, George Christensen. Under the terms of the coalition deal with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s centre-right Liberal Party, the leader of the Nationals automatically becomes deputy prime minister.

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