MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. New Zealand’s Labour Party that has been in opposition during the last nine years, is returning to power and forming a new coalition government, New Zealand’s television reported after the end of interparliamentary consultations on Thursday which the country’s leading political forces have been conducting for almost a month after the general election. The Labour Party’s leader Jacinda Ardern will become the country’s new prime minister.
New Zealand’s election was held on September 23, but no party managed to gain an absolute majority out of 120 seats in the new parliament. The governing National Party showed the best results (56 seats), the Labour Party won 46 seats and its traditional ally - the Green Party - won eight, whereas ACT got one seat. Thus, the fate of the new government depended on the decision of New Zealand First that got nine parliamentary seats, and its leader Winston Peters declared on Thursday that they will join a coalition with the Labour Party. The country voted for change, Peters said.
To form the government, the Labour Party will also have to gain the Green Party’s support. Peters made it clear that the Greens may not enter the coalition, but will support the government in case the parliament questions confidence in it. The National Party headed by Bill English that has been governing since 2008 will pass into opposition.