CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stubbornly clung to power on Thursday, as senior ministers deserted him, saying he would hold a second leadership vote on Friday if he received a letter signed by the majority of the ruling Liberal party.
Turnbull narrowly won a leadership vote on Tuesday against former home affairs minister Peter Dutton. Dutton and senior ministers on Thursday called for a second ballot.
Turnbull said if he received the letter requesting a fresh vote, he would call a party meeting for midday on Friday (0200 GMT). If a leadership spill motion was then passed, he would not stand in the vote.
“If the motion is carried, I will treat that as a vote of no confidence and I will not stand as a candidate in the ballot,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.
Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Michael Perry