New Zealand finalizes govt coalition of 3 right-wing parties

Sydney, Australia, Nov 20 (EFE).- New Zealand National Party leader Christopher Luxon said Monday that his formation had made progress in negotiations to form a coalition government with two other right-wing parties following their election victory last month.

Luxon’s party beat the outgoing Labour Party but needs the support of New Zealand First and ACT New Zealand to ensure a majority in parliament and form a coalition government.

The leader told reporters Monday in Auckland that the three formations have reached an initial agreement on their political programs and are now negotiating ministerial positions.

““We’ve achieved, I think, a significant milestone overnight and that is that we have actually closed down and agreed policy programs with both Act and also with New Zealand First. That’s a major achievement,” the prime minister-elect said, according to public broadcaster Radio New Zealand.

In last month’s election, the National Party won 48 of 122 seats in parliament, while ACT won 11 seats and New Zealand First won eight.

The outgoing Labor Party, which won 34 seats, would remain in the opposition if the coalition is successful, along with its traditional allies, the Green Party and the Maori Party, which won 15 and six seats, respectively.

Luxon said Monday that party representatives have held meetings over the past week to discuss their priorities while they continued those conversations to ensure both can sign the individually agreed policy programs and agendas.

There was no immediate confirmation of the deal from ACT or New Zealand First, whose leader Winston Peters declined to give further details, saying talks to agree a political plan are in the “final stages.”

The results of October’s elections represent a turnaround compared to those of 2020, in which the Labour Party won with 49 percent of votes – something unprecedented since 1996. EFE


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