Australia's political parties began horsetrading on Sunday to break an anticipated parliamentary deadlock after a dramatic election failed to produce a clear winner, raising the prospect of prolonged political and economic instability.
The exceptionally close vote leaves Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's center-right Liberal Party-led government in a precarious position, potentially needing the support of independent and minor parties.
It has also opened the door to the possibility, albeit less likely, that the main opposition Labor Party could win enough backing from the smaller parties to form government itself, although Turnbull said on Sunday he remained "quietly confident" of returning his coalition to power for another three-year term.
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