Australian Prime Minister Survives Leadership Challenge

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott makes a statement at the government offices in Sydney, Australia, on Friday. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott makes a statement at the government offices in Sydney, Australia, on Friday. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Australia’s prime minister has survived an internal government challenge to his leadership.

Chief whip Philip Ruddock says a meeting of lawmakers in the ruling conservative Liberal Party voted on Monday to reject a motion that called for a ballot for the party leadership and deputy 61 votes to 39.

The challenge was initiated by disgruntled lawmakers halfway through Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s first 3-year-term in office.