Wellington : The New Zealand general election ended in stalemate on Saturday with official results showing the minority New Zealand First (NZF) party in a position to play kingmaker and in no hurry to decide which major party it will support.
It could be at least another two weeks before the outcome is known after Prime Minister Bill English’s National party fell just short of confirming a fourth-term in power.
The charismatic Jacinda Ardern, who revitalised the main opposition Labour Party, also failed to muster sufficient numbers. With 61 seats required to govern, National won 58 and its sole remaining political ally, ACT secured one, according to the New Zealand Electoral Commission. Labour won 45 seats with its political partner Green on seven. Leader of NZF Winston Peters gave no indication which of the two blocs his New Zealand First — and its nine seats from 7.5 per cent of the vote — would support, report AFP.
“As things stand we do have the balance of political responsibility and we’re not going to be hasty with that,” Peters told supporters. “We’ll make a decision in the interests of all New Zealand and New Zealand First, that is the whole country, not ourselves in the party but in the national interest and that will take some time.
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