Multiple petitions for Gladys Berejiklian to remain as prime minister are gaining thousands of signatures as some deeply upset NSW residents share their discontent.
In the less than 48 hours since New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian resigned, a change.org petition has collected nearly 40,000 signatures with pleas to keep her in power.
Titled Don’t Let Gladys Go, it is one of about 30 petitions initiated that are vying for Mrs. Berejiklian’s exit as Leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party.
Change.org said it was extremely unusual for an outgoing party leader to see this level of support.
“Gladys Berejiklian is an incredible leader who has made us proud to be Australian in her response to the Covid disaster and the madness that has gripped our world for the last time. 20 months,” read the description of a campaign.
In the comments, the signatories shared their impassioned pleas for Ms Berejiklian to stay in power, denouncing the New South Wales Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (ICAC) for their investigation.
“Gladys is the best hotel! One of the signatories wrote that if she needs to go she must be the prime minister!
“I am disgusted and ashamed of Australian politicians. Stabbed in the back, ruthless and ineffective. Gladys is an intrinsic lady, strong, committed and loyal to her people, both in hard times and in good times. She is human, and one of us is not like the alleged gods who run this country. Gladys, We are with you all the way.
“ICAC is a joke to flex her muscles during a pandemic! Gladys wasn’t going anywhere. Could have waited for this,” another post.
Pictures of her electoral office, in the northern Sydney suburb of Northbridge, also emerged on Saturday, her home littered with balloons, flowers and cards left by Sydney residents. “Devoured” of her resignation is a bomb.
Signatures are in “much greater numbers” than other polls
However, others have noted the circumstances surrounding Ms. Berejiklian resignation from the government, Citing allegations by ICAC that it breach of public trust Regarding her personal relationship with former Waja Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
Last year, the liberal politician admitted in a separate ICAC investigation that he used his position to promote business deals for personal financial gain. It was also revealed that Maguire had carried out a cash scam in exchange for a visa for which he received cash payments that occurred in his Parliamentary office.
Several people who commented on social media said they were surprised by the calls for Ms Berejiklian to remain as prime minister given that she was under investigation by the corruption watchdog.
Nick Holas, campaign manager at Change.org which has hosted many of the petitions, said on Twitter that the prime minister had “much larger numbers” of similar petitions focused on a leadership change or political scandal.
On Friday afternoon, the ICAC announced that it was investigating Ms Berejiklian over a series of grants awarded to community organizations between 2012 and 2018. Subsequent public hearings will investigate whether she was “responsible for allowing or encouraging corrupt behavior by Mr. Maguire”.
It comes nearly a year after Ms Berejiklian revealed she had a “close personal relationship” with Maguire, which began in October 2015 and lasted for five years.
While the prime minister vehemently denied all accusations of misconduct and corruption, she announced on Friday that she had no choice but to resign, adding that the timing was “totally out of her control”.
“My resignation as Prime Minister could not have come at a worse time, but the timing is completely out of my control, as the ICAC has chosen to take this action during the most challenging weeks in the most challenging times in NSW history,” on Friday, the day after it was informed of the investigation.
“This is the prerogative of the ICAC. Resigning at this time is against every instinct of my existence and something I do not want to do. I love my job and serve the community, but I did not have any choice after the statement issued.”
Currently, the names expected to win the leadership of the NSW Liberal Party are Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Planning Minister Rob Stokes, who is, as it were, the only candidate to have officially announced his intention to run. It has been suggested that Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres might apply for the position.
The NSW Liberal Party Chamber is due to meet on Tuesday to choose a successor to Ms Berejiklian.