DOWN UNDER

Australia Reelects First Female P.M.

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks to the media at Parliament House on February 27, 2012 in Canberra, Australia after outpolling Kevin Rudd in a leadership ballot to secure her position as Australian Labor Party leader and Prime Minister.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard defended her position in a resounding victory Monday, defeating Kevin Rudd, her former foreign minister. It was the end of a hotly contested challenge to her leadership by Rudd, who was himself deposed by Gillard in 2010. Gillard has defied many Australian political stereotypes—she’s the country’s first female prime minister—but the vote Monday seems to have left little doubt as to who is in charge. The vote in the country’s Parliament solidified her power, 71-31. Political observers had said that Rudd would need to hold at least 35 votes to pose a future challenge to Gillard’s leadership.