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Australia

 By|Tony Wild

 

Coalition talks to form a government in New Zealand were expected to wrap up Thursday but it could still be days
before results are made public, the leader of the minor populist party that holds the balance of power after inconclusive elections said, according to dpa.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said while he was "pretty confident" he would complete talks with the ruling National Party and the opposing Labour by Thursday evening, his party's board and parliamentary caucus would need to meet in person to ratify the decision.


"It depends upon the logistical availability of the board, which could be Saturday, Sunday or Monday," he told journalists.


The National Party took home 44.4 per cent at the September 23 election, while the Labour and Green parties combined received 43.2 per cent of the vote.
Neither side gained enough votes to reach a majority and both will need support from anti-immigration party NZ First, which picked up 7.2 per cent of the vote.
Since the announcement of the official election tally on Saturday, Peters has held back-to-back talks with National and Labour.


Peters, a veteran politician whose party has formed governments with the National as well as the Labour Party in the past, has so far refused to give any indication of whom he favours this time around.

The Negotiations to form the next government are reaching a crucial stage with two days left for talks between NZ First and the main parties.

But the NZ First leader Winston Peters has wrapped a morning meeting with National - saying "huge progress" is being made.

Published in Australia