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New Zealand's kingmaker party says will not decide coalition partner before Oct. 7

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New Zealand's kingmaker party says will not decide coalition partner before Oct. 7

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WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The leader of the New Zealand First Party, which emerged as the kingmaker after an inconclusive weekend election, said on Wednesday no decisions would be made on coalition partners until after the final tally of votes is released on Oct. 7. Prime Minister Bill English’s National Party secured 58 seats, ahead of the 52 won by the Labour and the Green Party, in Saturday’s election, leaving both sides still in need of NZ First’s nine seats to reach the minimum 61 needed to form a government. Both major party leaders have said they are ready to speak to Winston Peters, the leader of the nationalist NZ First. Peters told reporters in Wellington he was open to all possibilities and may speak to them before “special votes”, which includes overseas voters and accounts for 15 percent of total votes, are released with the final tally on Oct. 7.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Writing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Paul Tait)
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