New Zealand’s Luxon announces coalition deal for new gov’t

Sydney, Australia, Nov 23 (EFE).- The leader of the National Party of New Zealand, Christopher Luxon, announced Thursday having reached an agreement with two other right-wing parties to form a coalition government, after weeks of negotiations.

“I am very pleased to announce that we are in a position where we have concluded our negotiations with the respective parties,” Luxon, expected to be the next prime minister of New Zealand, said at a press conference.

In the Oct. 14 general elections, the conservative National Party won more seats than the Labor Party – in power for the last six years – but failed to secure an absolute majority (48 of 122 seats).

Luxon’s party had sought support from New Zealand First (eight seats) and ACT New Zealand (11 seats) to form a coalition government.

Those “agreements are now before the parties for ratification which we hope to have this evening,” Luxon said.

The coalition agreement is expected to be formally announced on Friday after the concerned parties have ratified it, and the new government could be sworn in on Monday, according to local media reports.

Luxon, 53, former CEO of airline Air New Zealand (2012-19), announced on Monday that the three parties had reached an agreement in principle regarding their political programs and were negotiating ministerial positions.

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.

The results of October’s elections represent a turnaround compared to those of 2020, in which the Labor Party’s Jacinda Ardern won with 49 per cent of votes – something unprecedented since 1996.

Ardern resigned in January before finishing her term saying she no longer had “enough in the tank” to go on for another term.

Luxon has promised to reduce inflation, reduce public spending, and stimulate the economy by attracting investment, with nods to Chinese capital for infrastructure, and lower taxes. EFE


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