New Zealand to form new gov’t before official election results

New Zealand Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference on Sunday she expected to form a government within the next two to three weeks before the release of official election results.

According to the preliminary count results for the New Zealand 2020 General Election and Referendums released by the Electoral Commission, New Zealand Labour Party won 49 percent of the vote, which transfer to 64 seats in the 120-member parliament in a Mixed-Member Proportional voting system, with the opposition National Party lagging behind at 27 percent, or 35 seats.

While addressing media in Auckland on Sunday afternoon, Ardern said the work would begin and the Labour caucus will meet on Monday.

“My expectation is that we will form government within the next two to three weeks,” said Ardern. “We clearly have a mandate on behalf of New Zealand to crack on with government formation.”

Official results for the 2020 General Election and referendums will not be published until Nov. 6, according to the Electoral Commission.

Ardern did not rule out the possibility to form a coalition government with the Green Party, which won 7.6 percent of the vote or 10 seats in the parliament. There was a range of options for agreements with the Greens, said Ardern.

After the 2017 New Zealand General Election, the Labour Party, which won 46 seats in the parliament, formed a coalition government with the support from New Zealand First Party and Green party.