New Zealand king­maker bides his time

The Guardian Weekly - - World Roundup -

14 The leader of the New Zealand First party, who emerged as king­maker af­ter an in­con­clu­sive elec­tion, has said no de­ci­sions would be made on coali­tion part­ners un­til af­ter the fi­nal tally of votes is re­leased on Satur­day.

“I can’t with any in­tel­li­gence … tell you what we’re go­ing to do un­til we’ve seen all the facts,” Win­ston Peters told a press con­fer­ence.

Spe­cial votes, which in­clude bal­lots from over­seas vot­ers and those who vote out­side their home con­stituen­cies, ac­count for 15% of to­tal votes. While they are not ex­pected to change the re­sult, with the rul­ing Na­tional party ahead with a com­fort­able 10-point lead, they could add seats to a pos­si­ble Labour-Green coali­tion, mak­ing New Zealand First more com­fort­able to opt for them, de­spite the fact they did not win the largest num­ber of seats.

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