Australian Opposition leader accused of targeting PM’s religious beliefs for political gain

CANBERRA, May 15  — Australia’s Opposition leader has been accused of politicizing the prime minister’s religious beliefs three days before the nation’s general election.

Bill Shorten, leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), on Tuesday demanded that Prime Minister Scott Morrison state his personal view on whether homosexuals go to hell, declaring that Australia needed a “prime minister for all people.”

Morrison, a devout Christian, described the ploy as a “grubby” and “desperate” bid to distract voters from debates on policy before the election, according to The Australian.

“I am not running for pope; I am running for prime minister,” he said.
“These are issues about ­religion and I don’t want to see those controversial topics brought into the political debate. I don’t see how that helps anybody.”

Meanwhile, under Australian “blackout” laws, television and radio networks cannot air political advertisements from the Thursday before polling day until polls close at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
It means that Wednesday was the final opportunity for parties running candidates in the election to broadcast advertisements. However, there are no restrictions on advertising in print or online, meaning the attention will turn to those mediums until Saturday. – XINHUA