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Australian PM To Form New Government

Julia Gillard at a news conference after a leadership ballot in June
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard will form a new government after two independent lawmakers backed her coalition, giving her a one-seat majority in parliament.

The decision announced today by lawmakers Tony Windsor and Robb Oakeshott brings to an end more than two weeks of political deadlock following the country's inconclusive parliamentary elections.

Gillard's center-left Labor party mustered the support of 76 lawmakers in the 150-seat House of Representatives.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott's conservative coalition controls 74 seats. In the August 21 elections, Australian voters failed to give any party a majority -- the first time that has occurred in Australia in decades.

compiled from agency reports