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NZ PM Expects To Form New Govt Before Official Poll Results

Wellington:  New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Sunday said that she expected to form a new government within the next two to three weeks before the official results of the general elections in which her Labour Party secured a landslide majority, were declared.

According to the preliminary count results for the election held on Saturday, the Labour Party won 49 per cent of the vote, which transfers to 64 seats in the 120-member Parliament in a Mixed-Member Proportional voting system, with the opposition National Party lagging behind at 27 per cent, or 35 seats, reports Xinhua news agency.

While addressing the media in Auckland on Sunday afternoon, Ardern said the work would begin and the Labour caucus will meet on Monday.

“My expectation is that we will form government within the next two to three weeks,” said Ardern.

“We clearly have a mandate on behalf of New Zealand to crack on with government formation.”

Besides the general election vote, New Zealanders also cast their ballots for two referendums on end of life choice and legalisation of the recreational use of cannabis.

Preliminary referendum results will be released on October 30, and the official results of the election and referendums will be released on November 6.

Meanwhile, Ardern did not rule out the possibility to form a coalition government with the Green Party, which won 7.6 per cent of the vote or 10 seats in Parliament.

There was a range of options for agreements with the Greens, said Ardern.

After the 2017 general election, the Labour Party, which won 46 seats in Parliament, formed a coalition government with the support from New Zealand First Party and Green party.

(IANS)

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