Saturday, October 09, 2004
Prime Minister Howard of Australia defeated the Socialist Jihadi candidate. This election was described as an early indicator of how U.S. elections will turn out: John Howard Wins Australian Elections.
SYDNEY, Australia - Prime Minister John Howard scored a convincing victory in Australia’s federal election Saturday, winning a historic fourth term in a vote ensuring the staunch U.S. ally keeps its troops in Iraq.
Labor Party leader Mark Latham conceded defeat in a speech to his supporters in western Sydney, saying he called Howard to congratulate him on his win.
“Tonight was not our night,” Latham said.
The election was widely seen abroad as the first referendum for the three leaders who launched the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, with President Bush facing a ballot next month and British Prime Minister Tony Blair probably facing voters next year.
The Labor Party had vowed to bring the approximate 900 Australian troops deployed in and around Iraq home by Christmas, while Howard insisted they will stay until Iraqis ask them to leave. Australian troops have not suffered any casualties and none have combat roles.