Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Mark Dadswell - Getty Images

Rudd's reforms ensure a PM cannot be ousted by caucus

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has unveiled a suite of reforms to the ALP, including ensuring the party membership has a role in electing the parliamentary leader.

The reforms, released on Monday night, would see an equal proportion of votes for the party leader given to elected MPs and to the membership proper.

However, in a controversial move, Mr Rudd has proposed changes to the way the party operates to ensure a sitting prime minister cannot be ousted by the Labor Caucus.

Such a party rule would have stopped the removal of Mr Rudd from the leader's office in 2010, and the spill a fortnight ago which reinstated him in the same office.

"Today, more than ever, Australians demand to know that the prime minister they elect is the prime minister they get," he said.

Mr Rudd said he would also convene a special meeting of the Labor Caucus on July 22 to seek approval for the changes.

It is understood the caucus meeting will also include some discussion of election strategy, of which party reform is likely to play a crucial role, in light of scandals that have engulfed the party's New South Wales branch.

Mr Rudd said a candidate for party leader would need at least 20% of the caucus before they could be endorsed.

While Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the reforms as the most significant empowerment of the party membership in history, members will not be involved in other senior leadership decisions.

Neither Mr Rudd nor Mr Albanese intimated whether any changes to the ministerial appointment process would be considered - with the party leader to maintain control of such positions.


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