After it was revealed that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had secretly taken on five additional roles during his tenure, calls for his resignation from parliament increased.
He explained his choice, made in the midst of the pandemic, by saying it was “necessary” under the circumstances.
Mr. Morrison represents the Cook area in the House of Representatives at the present time.
One of his coworkers even used the word “dictatorial” to describe the reaction of the public and his peers to the news.
On Wednesday, Mr. Morrison held a press conference to explain his choice, saying that he was “acting in the national interest in a crisis” in the event that a minister became incapacitated due to Covid-19.
According to him, “authority, what were effectively emergency powers to exercise in extreme situations,” was essential.
He added he had never acted as minister despite being secretly sworn into those portfolios.
The ministers’ day-to-day concerns were not ones that he had instructed any department to handle.
When asked why he had kept the expanded portfolios secret from cabinet and the public, he said there was a chance his newfound authority would be misunderstood if he had.
In the midst of a pandemic, he believes there was a “great risk” that “those powers could be misinterpreted and misunderstood,” leading to “unnecessary angst.”
The long-serving politician has been the target of heavy criticism in recent days after revelations about his increased powers drew widespread attention.
The current treasurer, Jim Chalmers, accused Mr. Morrison of “dictatorial tendencies” and urged Coalition leader Peter Dutton to speak out against him.
This was a “unprecedented trashing of our democracy,” according to the current prime minister, Anthony Albanese.
A new book detailing the Morrison government’s response to the pandemic includes an article by two New Corp journalists claiming that the then-prime minister had assigned himself those roles.
Some ministers – including the then finance minister Mathias Cormann – were reportedly unaware they were sharing portfolios with Mr Morrison.
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