Sex scandal promotes former Belgian to Australian premiership

Mathias Cormann, a native of the eastern Belgian town of Eupen, will serve as Australia's acting prime minister next week as the country's premier travels overseas. Usually Australia's deputy premier would stand in for PM Malcolm Turnbull, but Barnaby Joyce is currently involved in a sex scandal.

Mr Cormann will stand in for Malcolm Turnbull for five days next week. He is the Australian finance minister and Liberal Party leader in the senate. He became an Australian in 2000.

Australian deputy premier Barnaby Joyce is taking a week off next week to avoid further political problems. He had an extramarital affair with a staffer, who is currently expecting a baby.

Mathias Cormann studied at Leuven University and travelled to Australia as an exchange student. In 1996 he emigrated for good losing his Belgian citizenship in 2000. PM Malcolm Turnbull has meanwhile introduced legislation banning sexual relations between ministers and their staff.