Malcolm Turnbull sworn in as Australia's new PM

Canberra: Former Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as Australia's new prime minister on Tuesday, a day after Tony Abbott was defeated in ruling Liberal Party's leadership ballot.

Turnbull was sworn in at a ceremony by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove in the capital Canberra, reported Xinhua news agency.

"There has been a change of prime minister, but we are a very strong government, a very strong country with a great potential and we will realise that potential working very hard together," Turnbull said.

Malcolm Turnbull. Pic/ AFP

Abbott lost the ballot 54-44 on Monday night.

Shortly before Turnbull was sworn in, Abbott thanked the public and his family for the opportunity to serve the nation.

"I thank my country for the privilege of service. It is humbling to lose, but that does not compare to the honour of being asked to lead," he said.

"Leadership changes are never easy for our country. I pledge to make this change as easy as I can. There will be no wrecking, undermining or sniping," said Abbot.

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