Sat, 07 Oct 2017 12:22 - Updated Sat, 07 Oct 2017 12:21
New Zealand: Final tally in NZ election strengthens Labour in negotiation talks
WELLINGTON - A possible Labour-Green coalition narrowed the gap with the ruling National Party in New Zealand’s final election tally, strengthening their position ahead of talks on Sunday with the small nationalist party which holds the balance of power.
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The final Sept. 23 election results released on Saturday showed National won 56 seats and Labour and Greens together took 54 seats, leaving them both reliant on New Zealand First’s nine seats to meet the 61 seats needed for a majority in parliament in New Zealand’s proportional representation system.
National lost two seats to the Labour-Green bloc compared with preliminary results - a development which Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said buoyed their position at the negotiating table.
“We will continue our negotiations in earnest with potential support parties beginning this weekend,” Ardern told reporters in Auckland.
“This now means that we have a strengthened mandate to negotiate and form a durable, stable coalition government.”
Ardern, 37, took over the Labour leadership nearly two months before the election, quickly drawing comparisons with youthful, cosmopolitan leaders like Canada’s Justin Trudeau and France’s Emmanuel Macron. She has almost single-handedly brought Labour to within reach of forming government. Reuters
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