Australian Cabinet minister quits over leadership

Associated Press
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard makes a statement to the media after a leadership ballot in Canberra, Australia, Thursday, March 21, 2013. Gillard remains Australia's prime minister after she threw her job open to a leadership ballot but no one from the government was willing to run against her.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister has accepted the resignation of a Cabinet minister who had supported a bungled leadership challenge.

Chris Bowen told reporters Friday that his resignation was "the honorable thing to do."

He had been the minister of tertiary education, skills, science and research.

Thursday's fiasco is reinforcing perceptions of Julia Gillard's government as dysfunctional. Gillard already removed the minister who forced her to call the party leadership ballot and a junior minister who supported the would-be challenger.

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