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New Zealand’s national party secures backing to form government

After weeks of talks and uncertainty, New Zealand’s center-right National Party announced on Thursday that it has secured the backing of ACT New Zealand and New Zealand First to form a majority government.

 

The National Party, led by incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, won the most votes in the October 14 election, but needed the support of the right-wing ACT and the populist NZ First to have a parliamentary majority.

 

The three parties had to iron out their policy differences and decide on the distribution of ministerial roles before finalizing the deal.

 

“We are genuinely excited,” Luxon told reporters, adding that the agreements were now subject to ratification by the parties.

 

Both ACT’s David Seymour and NZ First’s Winston Peters confirmed the end of negotiations.

 

The National Party campaigned on a platform of easing the economic burden on middle-income New Zealanders, controlling inflation and reducing debt. It is expected to announce a plan to restore the central bank’s sole focus on inflation of 1% to 3%.

 

The new coalition will end the six-year rule of the left-wing Labour Party, which lost popularity due to its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising cost of living.

 

New Zealand uses a proportional representation system, which means that coalition governments are common and usually take about a month to form, but sometimes longer.

 

The new government’s policy agenda and ministerial appointments are expected to be revealed on Friday.

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