2 Australian government ministers quit politics

AP News
Posted: Feb 01, 2013 7:32 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Two senior Australian government ministers have announced they will quit politics just days after beleaguered Prime Minister Julia Gillard said elections will be held Sept. 14.

Government leader in the Senate, Chris Evans, the third most senior government minister, and Attorney General Nicola Roxon announced Saturday they are resigning from the Cabinet.

Evans, the minister for tertiary education, skills, science and research, said he will quit the Senate within months. Roxon will leave Parliament at the next election.

The resignations mean Gillard will make a major reshuffle of her cabinet before her center-left Labor Party government faces likely defeat at elections.

Gillard surprised Australians on Wednesday by announcing the election date. Governments traditionally give the opposition little more than a month's notice. She praised both ministers for their contribution.