Former Australian PM Morrison Accused of Undermining Democracy by Self-Appointment of Roles

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese accused his predecessor Scott Morrison of undermining democracy after revealing secret self-appointment to five ministerial positions during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

According to reports, Morrison took on the health, home affairs, resources, finance, and Treasury ministries between March 2020 and May 2021, while he was the prime minister, without the knowledge of parliament, civil servants, or relevant ministers.  

“It undermined our democracy. It’s an attack on the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy as we know it,” Albanese said

Albanese also said that the decision of Morrison to keep the appointments secret from the cabinet “trashed” the trust and political conventions in the political process. 

Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also described the appointments as “sinister” and said all involved had shown “a grave lack of respect for democratic governance.” 

Albanese said he was open to a royal commission inquiry over the unprecedented appointments. 

Meanwhile, Morrison wrote on his Facebook page that he considered the secret appointments “prudent and responsible action” owing to the risk of ministers contracting COVID-19 during the pandemic. 

“The use of the powers by a Prime Minister to exercise authority to administer departments has clearly caused concern. I regret this but acted in good faith in a crisis… For any offense to my colleagues, I apologize,” Morrison wrote

On Tuesday, Peter Dutton, who took over as leader of the Liberal party, accused Albanese of taking “political advantage” of the revelations and said governments worldwide had adopted “warlike” responses to the pandemic. 

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