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  • Ice Hockey-U S women ease past Finland into final
  • CBI raids Rotomac's owners over default of Rs 800 cr bank loan
  • Kamal meets Vijayakanth
  • Former chief Trustee of Sai Baba Sansthan leaves for heavenly abode
  • ED continues raids in connection with PNB scam
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  • PNB's Brady House branch sealed
  • Bournemouth players driven by international aspirations - Howe
  • Alpine skiing-Frenchman Faivre kicked out of Games for lack of team spirit
  • PM's silence shows where his loyalties lie: Rahul
  • Narendra Modi to address national conference on doubling farmers’ income by 2022
  • Nepal: Cabinet discusses PM’s core team
  • UML-Maoist merger talks back from brink
  • Democracy Day celebrated in Nepal
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Final tally in NZ election strengthens Labour in negotiation talks

Final tally in NZ election strengthens Labour in negotiation talks

WELLINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) A possible Labour-Green coalition narrowed the gap with the ruling National Party in New Zealand's final election tally, strengthening their position ahead of talks on Sunday with the small nationalist party which holds the balance of power. The final Sept. 23 election results released on Saturday showed National won 56 seats and Labour and Greens together took 54 seats, leaving them both reliant on New Zealand First's nine seats to meet the 61 seats needed for a majority in parliament in New Zealand's proportional representation system. National lost two seats to the Labour-Green bloc compared with preliminary results - a development which Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said buoyed their position at the negotiating table. "We will continue our negotiations in earnest with potential support parties beginning this weekend," Ardern told reporters in Auckland. "This now means that we have a strengthened mandate to negotiate and form a durable, stable coalition government." Ardern, 37, took over the Labour leadership nearly two months before the election, quickly drawing comparisons with youthful, cosmopolitan leaders like Canada’s Justin Trudeau and France’s Emmanuel Macron. She has almost single-handedly brought Labour to within reach of forming government. New Zealand First said in an emailed statement that it would hold discussions on Sunday with the National Party at midday and with the Labour Party in the afternoon. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters told local media that knowing the facts "puts us in a better position to make judgements". Peters has said he would only make a decision on which party to back after the final tally and after the results become official on Oct. 12. Prime Minister Bill English told reporters in Queenstown that the final results did not change the nature of the negotiations, which would now likely focus on the economy. "I don't think it weakens it significantly at all," he said, referring to National's negotiating position. "The fundamentals haven't altered, and that is National has significantly more seats than Labour, we are larger than a Labour-Greens combination." POLICIES If New Zealand First chooses to go with Labour, which are thought to have more in common in terms of policy, the gain in seats for the Labour-Greens bloc would make it easier for Peters to justify the move, analysts said. Both parties have said they want to curb immigration, renegotiate certain trade deals and adjust the role of the central bank albeit in different ways. "If Labour, the Greens and NZ First had formed a government with a majority of one (seat)...that wouldn't have sat comfortably with many people," Richard Shaw, politics professor at Massey University, refering to preliminary results. A Labour, Greens, NZ First coalition would now hold a three-seat majority after the final tally. But some say Peters could be swayed to go to National given it would be a straightforward coalition between two parties. Peters, a veteran New Zealand politician who has now held the balance of power three times, has in past elections formed coalition governments with both the National Party and Labour. The National Party won 44.4 percent of the votes, the Labour Party 36.9 percent, New Zealand First 7.2 percent, the Green Party 6.3 percent. REUTERS SV 1334

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US, China scuffled over nuclear 'football' during Trump visit

19 Feb 2018 | 2:35 PM

Washington, Feb 19 (UNI) Things got physical between US and Chinese officials over the nuclear "football" during President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing last year, Axios has reported.

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Nepal: Constitution not equal for women

19 Feb 2018 | 2:28 PM

Kathmandu, Feb 19 (UNI) Nepal finally framed a new constitution through a Constituent Assembly after four years of debate and discussion on the constitutional issues; however, for all the toils, it could not do justice to women.

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Autism: Scientists take 'first steps' towards biological test

Autism: Scientists take 'first steps' towards biological test

19 Feb 2018 | 2:25 PM

London, Feb 19 (UNI) Scientists have taken the first steps towards what they say could become a new blood and urine test for autism, a BBC News report said on Monday.

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Nepal: Cabinet discusses PM’s core team

19 Feb 2018 | 2:16 PM

Kathmandu, Feb 19 (UNI) The KP Oli Government in Nepal plans to have a strong Prime Minister’s Office, with key pointpersons at the PMO coordinating the line ministries and working as the primary channel of communication between the Prime Minister and the ministries, according to sources close to the PM, a report in The Kathmandu Post said.

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UML-Maoist merger talks back from brink

19 Feb 2018 | 2:10 PM

Kathmandu, Feb 19 (UNI) After Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli agreed to put both the People’s Multi-party Democracy (PMPD) and Maoism up for discussion until the unity convention decides the new party’s political ideology, the roadblocks seen in the unification process are likely to be removed, A report in The Kathmandu Post said.

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