CANBERRA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott played down reports on Thursday that his government was considering an early, double dissolution election to be held in the next few months.
It is understood the prospect of a double dissolution was raised at a Cabinet dinner on Monday but a senior minister present on the occasion told Fairfax Media it was "not under serious contemplation".
The Prime Minister's office on Thursday morning sought to reassure voters the government intended to run its full term that ends in 2016.
In Australia, when an identical bill is denied twice within three months, the deadlock is resolved by dissolving every seat in the two houses of parliament and heading to an immediate election.
According to News Limited, the early election was raised in the context of the government's higher education reform bill which was denied by the Senate on Tuesday.
As the bill was presented more than three months after it was first defeated by the Senate on December 3, 2014, a double dissolution was not triggered, but Education Minister Christopher Pyne has remained adamant that he would introduce the bill a third time.
Cabinet Minister Mathais Cormann even went as far as to deny that the topic had arisen at the dinner.
"At no meeting which I have been present has this issue been discussed," Senator Cormann told Sky News.
"I have never been part of any discussion where that proposition has been put forward. We intend to run our full term."
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said a double dissolution was too risky and could cause more problems.