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Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announces September 7 election

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called a general election for September 7. The news comes six weeks after he toppled former leader Julia Gillard in a Labor Party leadership vote.

On Sunday, Rudd flew to Canberra from his hometown of Brisbane to speak with Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

"It's on. A few moments ago I saw the governor-general and asked that she dissolve this parliament and call the federal election for September 7," Rudd said in an email to supporters.

Rudd was first elected prime minister in 2007 but was ousted in 2010 by his then deputy Julia Gillard in an internal leadership vote of his Labor Party.

He reclaimed the role in a similar challenge on June 26 as the center-left party faced the prospect of a huge loss with Gillard at the helm.

Since then, Rudd has changed several key policy positions, and opinion polls suggest Labor is closing the lead of the conservative opposition, led by Tony Abbott.

If elected, Abbott has promised to scrap a 30 percent tax on coal and iron ore mine profits, and scrap an unpopular carbon tax.

In the upcoming election, the Labor government could fall with the loss of just one of their 71 seats out of 150 in parliament.

hc/ccp (Reuters, AFP, AP)