Thursday, November 22, 2007

PM Howard condemns fake leaflets


The Australian leader has condemned party members' use of fake leaflets implying Labor backed Muslim bombers, two days before nationwide polls.

PM John Howard, who is trailing Labor rival Kevin Rudd, said the Liberal Party had not authorised the leaflets.

Distributed in a key Sydney seat, they purported to be from an Islamic group which thanked Labor for its sympathy towards the Bali nightclub attackers.

Those involved faced expulsion from the Liberal Party, officials said.

Both party leaders have been campaigning hard ahead of Saturday's election. The prime minister is seeking a fifth term in office but polls indicate Mr Rudd is maintaining a sizeable lead.

The BBC's Nick Bryant, in Sydney, says that this kind of scandal is just about the last thing Mr Howard's beleaguered party needs.........

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