Victorian Premier dismisses Somyurek's bid to hold him to account

Dan Andrews dodges questions as former Labor MP launches comeback

Victorian Premier dismisses Somyurek's bid to hold him to account
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews. Inset: Adem Somyurek / ABC
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Victoria Premier Dan Andrews has shrugged aside the decision of a former Labor powerbroker to run for an opposition party at the upcoming election.

Adem Somyurek backflipped on his resignation this week and announced he would contest the November 26 poll for the “socially conservative” Democratic Labour Party.

Somyurek – who has worked with Andrews 2002 – said someone needed to hold the Premier “to account”.

"Andrews has no internal opposition inside the ALP because by hook or by crook he has quashed any dissent or exiled anyone with the strength to demand collective decision-making, transparency and accountability,” he said.

Somyurek was sacked from Andrews’ cabinet in 2020 over allegations of branch stacking.

He was part of the Labor Party during the red shirt scandal in 2014 when the party was accused of using $388,000 in public money to campaign in marginal seats.

Somyurek openly criticised the scheme as the "biggest political scandal" and put forward a motion to Victoria's Ombudsman to have the Premier investigated for corruption.

The Premier dismissed Somyurek’s decision to run as a DLP candidate for the Northern Metropolitan region as of little interest to him.

"I don't give much thought to those matters,” he said. "That's a matter for him.”

Somyurek said he decided to recontest after people pleaded for him to “hold Andrews to account”.

He said that his years in the Andrews in government meant he understood better than anyone how the Premier operated.

"Victorians are worried about their future. I am the only person who can hold him to account,” he said.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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