Following the drastic electoral victory, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday said she would form the government within three weeks, but declined to say whether she would rule alone or form an alliance.
Ardern won the largest electoral victory in half a century for his Center-Left Labor Party on Saturday. His new majority in Parliament would allow him to form the first single-party government since New Zealand adopted the proportional voting system in 1996.
“As long as it is three weeks before the final results are out, I hope we will work on the formation of the government,” Ardern said at a news conference.
Labor won 64 out of 120 seats in the country’s one-time parliament.
For the past three years, Ardern was in alliance with the Green Party and the Nationalist New Zealand First Party. Although it no longer needs support, coalitions in New Zealand are the norm as parties build consensus.
“I have been a consensus builder, but I also need to work with the mandate that Labor has been given.”
“I told the Greens that I would talk to them next week,” she said. “I don’t want to draw any conclusions on this point.”
The Greens returned with a large mandate of 7.6% of the vote, but NZ First, led by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, could not muster enough support to return to parliament.
The Māori Party, representing the indigenous community which is about 15% of the population, returned to parliament.
The stunning victory is a yes vote for the progressive, democratic rule of Ardern and his leadership in crushing COVID-19 in the country, as well as dealing with the massacre of 51 worshipers in two Christchurch mosques and a deadly volcanic eruption.
40-year-old Ardernon this year burned his reputation for COVID-19 with his “Go Hard, Go Early” which had eradicated all coronoviruses in the country, until a new case surfaced on Sunday.
There have been only 25 deaths and around 1,500 infections in New Zealand. In the new case, health officials said that the identity of the infected person was hastened and the risk of transmission was inherent.
The Order has retained a solid international following with its promotion of issues including women’s rights, social justice and multilateralism.
Nevertheless, his economic policies have been criticized, and none would be a major test of the summer season with international tourists.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)