Australia: The secret appointment of Scott Morrison as Home Affairs and Treasury Minister during the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined our democracy, in addition to the previously mentioned portfolios of Health, Finance and Resources, according to Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Morrison has been criticized by senior members of his own party and his coalition partner, the National Party, who were unaware of the arrangements. Morrison resigned as leader of the Liberal Party after losing the general election in May.
Following a review of the situation by the Prime Minister's Office, Albanese informed reporters that Morrison had assumed the portfolios of Resources, Home Affairs and Treasury in April 2021, Health in March 2020 and Finance in May 2021.
He remarked that it was "absolutely extraordinary" that the Morrison administration had kept Australians in the dark about these appointments.
On Monday, the Solicitor General will give legal advice to Albanese in this matter. Albanese criticized the Morrison administration for allowing the prime minister to consolidate power.
Karen Andrews, a former home affairs minister in Morrison's administration, claimed she was unaware that Morrison also served in that capacity and demanded her resignation from the House of Representatives.
After Albanese's press conference, Andrews, a member of the Liberal Party, told ABC Radio that "you cannot rule in a veil of secrecy."
According to The Australian newspaper, even former treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who quit politics after losing his seat in the May election, was not aware that Morrison was in charge of the Treasury.
Before deciding on the next course of action, the leader of the Liberal Opposition, Peter Dutton, stated that legal advice from the Solicitor General was needed.
Morrison, who is still a backbencher for the Liberal Party, issued a lengthy statement in which he expressed regret for his actions but claimed he "acted in good faith in a crisis."
Morrison defended taking on additional ministerial responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic without the knowledge of his cabinet, claiming it was "an unprecedented time" and the powers acted as a safeguard.
“I have used these capabilities only once. In the statement, he said, “I did not try to interfere with ministers in the management of my portfolio.
In retrospect, he continued, "these arrangements were unnecessary."
It was an "oversight" that ministers were not informed that their roles had been repeated, according to Morrison, who claimed in a radio interview earlier on Tuesday that he did not make the arrangements public because they were only a security measure. Were.
He compared the two keys on the nuclear submarine in his statement to the 2GB radio station, saying, "We had to take some extraordinary measures to implement security measures.
He claimed that the role of resources minister he assumed in 2021 was different as he had used his authority to block approval for a gas exploration project off the coast of Australia that was opposed by local residents. A case is being registered against the verdict.
"In the interest of the country, I think I made the right choice. In this department or any other, it was the only issue with which I was directly involved," he claimed in the statement.
The fact that the two people were in charge of the resource portfolio and had different perspectives, according to Albanese, was troubling.
He said earlier on Tuesday that failing to disclose to the legislature that each is in charge of a ministerial portfolio is "a very clear breach of the prime minister's obligations to parliament."