New Zealand PM announces September election

Wellington, (IANS) New Zealand will go to polls on September 23, Prime Minister Bill English announced on Wednesday.

English took over as Prime Minister from John Key on December 12 after the latter resigned over family reasons.

English, who made the announcement after his cabinet’s first meeting in 2017, will seek a fourth consecutive term for the conservative National Party, which has been in power since 2008, Efe news reported.

The Prime Minister also said Parliament will hold a final session on August 17 before being dissolved for the elections, which were earlier scheduled to be held in November.

New Zealand votes for its Parliament every three years unless early elections are called.

English is in favour of reaching agreements with the current partners of the government — United Future, Association of Consumers and Taxpayers and the Maori Party — and said an agreement with the right-wing populist New Zealand First party is “unlikely”.

However, he has ruled out working with the Labour and Green party who have sealed an alliance to defeat the National Party.

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