Choice of Dev Sharma stirs muddy waters in Aussie politics

Michelle Grattan
Canberra, Australia, September 14, 2018
In the early hours of Friday (September 7) morning, the Liberal pre-selectors of Wentworth delivered their new Prime Minister a humiliating public slap-down.
In selecting Dave Sharma, 42, former Australian ambassador to Israel and now a Partner in an accountancy firm, as the candidate for the October 20 by-election, the pre-selectors have on all accounts chosen the best candidate.
But Scott Morrison had made it known he wanted a woman, a preference that has been embarrassingly rejected.

Picture of Dev Sharma Wikipedia sourced Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

New HOM to Israel, Mr Dave Sharma in Parliament House Canberra, 11 April 2013. Photos:Howard Moffat/AUSPIC

Katherine O’Regan, who was supposed to come out the winner, ran fifth.
Moreover, on Thursday (September 6) it was learned that John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull were both encouraging Sharma to stay in the contest. So the Two Former Prime Ministers managed to do over the current Prime Minister.
Liberals wreak revenge
The Wentworth Liberals, whose local member and PM was cut down, have had their revenge. The question now is whether the electors will also take theirs.
Sharma has the potential to be an excellent MP. But he lives way outside the electorate and hence will start with a disadvantage against the high profile Kerryn Phelps, who is set to run as an independent.
This week has recalled the worst of Labour’s days.
Morrison’s attempt to move things on from the coup didn’t cut it, just like Julia Gillard found her wheels spinning when she tried to dig her government out of various bogs.
Turnbull’s woes
In a highly provocative move, Turnbull has been busy from New York lobbying to have Cabinet Minister Peter Dutton’s Parliamentary eligibility referred the High Court, to determine whether an interest in a childcare business through a Trust could see him in breach of the Constitution’s troublesome Section 44.
Turnbull explained in a tweet:

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