Morrison is expected to call an election this weekend
There are just two Saturdays left for an election to be held, May 14 or May 21, and any delay this weekend would mean MPs would have to return to Canberra this week.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the election was likely to be called this weekend because Prime Minister Scott Morrison “didn’t like the scrutiny” of a sitting parliament.
“This prime minister last year gave up governing and said he was campaigning,” Mr Albanese said on Saturday.
The Leader of the Opposition said Mr Morrison was treating the election as a ‘game’ and delaying it, to allow taxpayers’ funds to be used to increase government spending and appoint mates to government boards government.
Mr Albanese said Labor had a mountain to climb to win the impending election, but had a plan for the future as the government was “at the end of its tether”.
If the Prime Minister does not visit Governor General David Hurley by Sunday, he will rule out the date before May, as a minimum of 33 days is required between the call of an election and Election Day.
It will also mean MPs will have to return to Canberra for the week as the House of Representatives is due to sit.
A schedule for the scheduled session was released on Friday afternoon but is not expected to materialize.
Mr Morrison said his visit to Mr Hurley was not far off.
“Election terms are three years. The last election was on May 18 (2019) and the next will be around the same time,” he told reporters on Friday.
“You will know very soon.”
A potential hurdle preventing Mr Morrison from calling the election was lifted on Friday afternoon when the High Court issued a challenge to his choice of candidates for several seats in New South Wales.
Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said there was ‘insufficient prospect of success’ to justify allowing former Liberal member Matthew Camenzuli to challenge Mr Morrison’s intervention in local branches of the state .
The latest polls show Morrison’s Liberal Party trailing behind Labor.
Detained refugees released
Refugees held for two years in a Melbourne hotel under Australia’s strict border policies were suddenly released back into the community on Thursday.
The Park Hotel gained international notoriety when tennis star Novak Djokovic was briefly detained there in January after his visa was canceled on the grounds that he posed a threat to public order, as his presence would encourage anti sentiment -vaccination amid Australia’s worst Covid-19 outbreak. .
The hotel has been used to hold refugees medically transferred from Australia’s offshore processing centers for asylum seekers trying to reach Australia by boat.
A lawyer for the refugees, some of whom have been detained for nine years, told ABC radio that their release into the community on temporary visas was “a last-minute political solution on the eve of an election”.
Morrison forged his political career as the immigration minister who “stopped the boats,” a reference to strict border policies primarily to discourage Afghan and Iranian asylum seekers arriving by sea, who had been seen as the key to winning elections over the past decade.
But the Liberal Party is coming under renewed pressure from independent candidates who are critical of the treatment of asylum seekers, including in two seats in the biggest city, Sydney, previously held by Liberal prime ministers.
Independent lawmakers in seats previously held by the Liberals said the Djokovic detention saga prompted a flood of letters from voters concerned about the detention of refugees.
Morrison said on Friday the election would be held on the basis of his government’s economic and national security track record, and called Labor an “unknown”.
Analysts pointed to cost-of-living pressures, in the wake of the pandemic and rising oil prices caused by war in Ukraine, as a dominant issue.