The Federal Opposition is urging Prime Minister Julia Gillard to issue a statement on the possibility that former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will hold a part-time position with the U.N. The opposition expressed concern that this could be in conflict with his role as a member of parliament and, potentially, a minister. Rudd has confirmed that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon phoned him to discuss, among other things, a possible appointment to a U.N. panel post that will focus on development issues.
“I can’t see how he could combine being a senior minister in a government, particularly in the area of foreign affairs, and hold down a part-time international job that would take him overseas and could create a potential conflict of interest,” Julie Bishop, the opposition’s spokesperson, said according to ABC news.
Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Stephen Smith noted that there is still no guarantee that Rudd would be given a federal minister position if Gillard’s Labour party is re-elected in the country’s upcoming election.