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South Australian Butler loses Labor presidency

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Wayne Swan has claimed victory in the race for the Labor party’s national presidency.

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Swan will retire from his Brisbane seat of Lilley at the next election, but will take over from incumbent president Butler, who was elected to the role in 2015.

Butler had campaigned on reforming the party’s internal processes, but Swan argued for a focus on addressing inequality in society.

“My campaign was driven by the belief that Labor’s future lies first and foremost in being clear about what we stand for,” Swan said in a statement today.

“Our success won’t be determined by tinkering with internal processes or by the outcome of votes over single issues at national conferences.

“To get new members coming through our door, and a new generation campaigning and voting for us, we have to show them we mean business about creating a better, more democratic and more equal society.”

Swan was the right faction’s candidate, and his chances got a boost when left-wing CFMMEU decided to run a candidate, splitting the left vote.

Butler will hand over his position at Labor’s national conference in December.

He is also looking for a new seat, after his South Australian electorate of Port Adelaide was proposed to be abolished in a boundary redraw.

“Congratulations to (Mr Swan) on a strong campaign and emphatic victory,” Butler tweeted today.

“I reckon his former boss and Nat Prez, Mick Young, would have been proud! Best wishes for the next three years.”

– AAP

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