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Ministers offer to quit as Australia political crisis deepens

Damian Drum against leadership change

Scott Morrison was sworn in as Australia's seventh Prime Minister in 11 years yesterday after a stunning party revolt against Malcolm Turnbull, which the new leader admitted had left the government "bruised and battered".

The government of Indonesia congratulated Scott Morrison on his being elected the new Australian prime minister, replacing Malcolm Turnbull, according to a written statement from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Saturday.

Morrison said he meant to bring the Liberal Party back together after they were "bruised and battered" by the events of the week, events that previous prime minister Malcolm Turnbull described in his final address as "madness".

The three leadership aspirants - Peter Dutton, Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison - are still waiting for the Solicitor-General to decide whether Mr Dutton is even eligible to sit in Parliament.

Dutton, a leader in the party's conservative faction, stood against Turnbull for the leadership in a vote on Tuesday, losing only narrowly by 48 votes to 35 and all but guaranteeing a second vote.

"I'll be leaving the Parliament ... not before too long", he told reporters.

Morrison said Turnbull has "been a dear friend" and said he had "been proud to serve with him".

At a news conference shortly after the vote, Morrison said he and Frydenberg represented a "new generation" of Liberal Party leadership.

"What we're seeing in the forex markets reflects a crisis of confidence in the ability of Australia's political class to deliver sensible economic outcomes that ensure our future prosperity", said Stephen Miller, an adviser at Grant Samuel Funds Management and former head of fixed income at BlackRock Investment Management Australia.

Mr Turnbull did not contest the ballot and later confirmed his intention to quit politics.

"For me, I only ever nominated because I believed I was a better person and a person of greater strength and integrity to lead the Liberal Party", Dutton told Australian Broadcasting Corp. However, in the days since, several ministers have defected to the hard-line wing of the conservative party that opposes the outgoing prime minister's more moderate political approach.

After last year's referendum on same-sex marriage, Mr Morrison, a church-goer, said he would back a new "religious protections" bill.

The Solicitor-General has spent the night considering whether Mr Dutton's financial interest in two childcare centres that receive government subsidies makes him ineligible to sit in Parliament.

"There was a determined insurgency from a number of people, " Mr Turnbull said.

"It guarantees the division (and) the payback will continue (and) that this government continues to be paralysed", he said.

After his defeat, Dutton said he would provide "absolute loyalty" to Morrison.

And if you're wondering how the hell we got here, and where we're going next, you're not alone.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop ran as well but did not advance to a final vote Friday.

Morrison, an ally of Turnbull, won a party-room ballot 45-40.