Rudd: Removal as PM Was Traumatic Experience

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By Vittorio Hernandez | October 19, 2012 10:12 AM EST

After more two years since the change in Australia's political leadership, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd broke his silence on Thursday and admitted his removal as prime minister was a traumatic experience.

Mr Rudd said the change of leadership in June 2010 hurt not only him but also the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

"One day I was there and the next day I wasn't," ABC Radio quoted Mr Rudd.

He said the ALP should learn from the events for the future. However, he observed that party reform has barely started. He pointed out that the party had held only one national conference since a post-election review was given to the Labor national executive in February 2011. The review was conducted by former Defence Minister John Faulkner, current Foreign Minister Bob Carr and former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks.

Mr Rudd's supporters acknowledge that the former prime minister is apparently repositioning himself for leadership, but added he would not challenge his successor, Julia Gillard.

He blamed his overthrow from his former post to mining companies which he accused of throwing their political weight around. His ouster came while he was negotiating with the mining firms for the mining tax.

Although he has challenged Ms Gillard for the top ALP post and lost, Mr Rudd said he continues to support most of the prime minister's decision, including reopening talks to sell uranium to India.

Mr Rudd said his support for the policy is hinged on conditions attached to the sale such as ensuring India's compliance with the requirements of the nuclear suppliers group.

"India has been quite strong in its statements certainly to me in the past as both prime minister and foreign minister about its desire to have Australia as long-term source of supply. So let's assume we'll get through these negotiations," ABC quoted Mr Rudd.

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