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Time of Uncertainties
Fraser's coalition survived the 1980 election with a much reduced majority. Further shaken by defections from Liberal Party ranks and by foreign trade scandals, Fraser suffered a sharp defeat in the elections of March 1983. His Labor successor, Bob Hawke, sought to promote labor-management cooperation and stimulate the economy; his foreign policy was staunchly pro-American. Labor retained its majorities in the elections of December 1984, July 1987, and March 1990. In December 1991, with Australia mired in recession and Hawke's popularity waning, Labor chose Hawke's former treasury minister, Paul Keating, as party leader and prime minister. Pledging to change Australia to a federal republic and underlining the need for a reorientation toward Asia, Keating led Labor to victory in the March 1993 election