Australian prime minister brings forward challenge to his own leadership to Monday morning

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has brought forward a challenge to his own leadership to Monday to end uncertainty.

The challenge was triggered by disgruntled government lawmakers last week and was scheduled to be discussed on Tuesday at the first scheduled meeting for the year of the ruling conservative Liberal Party's 102 lawmakers.

Abbott said Sunday he had arranged a special meeting for Monday morning, leaving some lawmakers scrambling to book earlier flights to the national capital.

Two disgruntled lawmakers will move a so-called spill motion. If the motion passes, the positions of prime minister and his deputy, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, will be declared open. There would then be secret ballots of Liberal lawmakers to either return Abbott and Bishop or replace them.

Abbott hopes the motion is defeated.