The South Asian Times

18 January 2019 11:35 AM

Labour Party head to be next New Zealand PM


Wellington, Oct 19: Political parties in New Zealand have agreed on a centre-left coalition government to be led by Labour Party head Jacinda Adern, making her the country's third female Prime Minister.

The small New Zealand First Party became the kingmaker after September's indecisive election results and now has decided to side with the Labour Party to form the coalition government, the BBC reported.

The vote had ended in a stalemate with neither the National Party led by incumbent Bill English nor Labour able to govern without a coalition partner.

The new coalition will also be supported by the Green Party.

"We had a choice to make … for a modified status quo or for change," New Zealand First Party head Winston Peters told reporters in Wellington, ending nearly a month of political uncertainty.

"That's why in the end, we chose a coalition government of New Zealand First with the New Zealand Labour Party."

New Zealand First holds the balance of power with nine seats, a Labour-Green bloc controls 54 seats and the National Party 56 seats.

The announcement means Ardern, 37, and the youngest-ever leader of New Zealand's Labour Party will oust Bill English as Prime Minister.

Peters' decision to back a Labour government ends nearly a decade of National Party rule.

Update: 19 Oct, 2017