Kevin Rudd speaks to the media on June 26, 2013.
Kevin Rudd speaks to the media on June 26, 2013. Photo by AP
Text size
related tags

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called new elections for September 7, avoiding a conflict with Yom Kippur.

Rudd said Sunday that the clash with Yom Kippur — September 14, the date set by Julia Gillard, his predecessor — was a “massive inconvenience” to Jews. Gillard was ousted in late June from the top job.

Australia’s elections are always held on Saturdays, so Yom Kippur was not an extra burden for Orthodox Jews, who always pre-poll.

But when Gillard announced the September 14 date earlier this year, she left the country's population of some 110,000 Jews facing a decision of whether to vote on Election Day or to find an alternative arrangement for submitting their ballot.

Rudd is head of the country’s Labor Party. A Newspoll survey in late July had Labor trailing the center-right Liberal Party, 52 percent to 48 percent.