The Australian parliament voted on Wednesday to reprimand the former liberal prime minister after an investigation determined that Scott Morrison‘s covert appointment to many ministries during the COVID-19 outbreak damaged public confidence in the government.
Morrison, who was ousted from office in a general election in May, surreptitiously amassed five ministry positions throughout the pandemic: home affairs, health, finance, and treasury.
The lower house of the nation approved the historic resolution, which was proposed by the government’s Labor party, by a vote of 86 to 50.
Despite the motion’s symbolic nature, it is the first time a former prime minister has been censured by parliament.
Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese argued during the debate in favor of censure of Morrison that “our democracy is precious.”
“There’s no room for complacency.”
According to Morrison, his actions were legal and the decision was required in case the epidemic rendered ministers incapable.
“For those who wish to add their judgment today on my actions in supporting this censure motion, I simply suggest that they stop and consider the following: have you ever had to deal with a crisis where the outlook was completely unknown?,” Morrison said in parliament before the vote on Wednesday.
“In such circumstances, were you able to get all the decisions perfectly, right?“
Morrison claimed that he had only ever used the authority to thwart BPH Energy’s PEP-11 gas exploration project.
He agreed with the proposals made during an investigation into the appointment, including a law requiring ministerial appointments to be announced publicly.