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Malcolm Fraser

John Malcolm Fraser (born May 21, 1930) was the twenty-second Prime Minister of Australia (November 11, 1975 - March 11, 1983).

Elected Australia's then youngest member of Parliament in December 1955, he served as a minister from January 1966 under Harold Holt and John Gorton, his resignation in March 1971 contributing to the latter's fall from power.

Elected leader of the Liberal Party (now in opposition) in March 1975, he replaced Labor leader Gough Whitlam as prime minister on the latter's controversial dismissal by Governor-General Sir John Kerr following obstruction of government supply Bills by the Liberal-dominated Senate (see Australian constitutional crisis of 1975).

Fraser's premiership was characterised by public spending cuts (under the stewardship of Treasurer John Howard), but also saw some reforms which were retained by his successors. A string of decisive Liberal-National Country Party general election victories (December 1975, December 1977 and October 1980) ended with the biggest Labor majority to date, whereupon Fraser resigned the premiership, the party leadership and his parliamentary seat.

Fraser served with distinction as: Chairman, United Nations Panel of Eminent Persons on the Role of Transnational Corporations in South Africa 1985; Co-Chairman, Commonwealth Group of Eminent Persons on South Africa 1985-1986; Chairman, U.N. Secretary-General's Expert Group on African Commodity Issues 1989-1990;

Fraser has been President of Care International from 1991 until the present and worked with a number of other charitable organisations.

He has repeatedly criticised the current Howard government over foreign policy issues (particularly the focus on the military alliance with the United States, which Fraser sees as damaging Australian relationships in Asia), campaigned for the abolition of formal ties to the British monarchy, as well as the detention of asylum-seekers. Fraser's government, in turn, has been criticised heavily by many contemporary Liberal politicians as nearly a decade of lost opportunity to deregulate the Australian economy.

Previous Australian Prime Minister: Gough Whitlam
Next Australian Prime Minister: Bob Hawke



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