INDEPENDENT NEWS

Coalition Now A Minority Government

Published: Fri 10 Dec 1999 08:52 AM
The coalition agreement between Labour and the Alliance is now an agreement for a minority government after the Greens snatched a seventh seat off Labour, cutting the coalition to just 59 seats.
The Greens broke the five per cent threshold last night on special votes, going from 4.9 on election night to 5.2 per cent – enough to get Auckland peace campaigner and number seven on the Green list Keith Locke into parliament.
Labour now lose Lynne Pillay, a registered nurse, to make way for Locke.
The coalition now depends on third parties to pass legislation. This could be the Greens, NZ First or United’s Peter Dunne.
The counting of the specials has taken the Greens off the sidelines where they remained on election night into parliament after winning an electorate and breaking the threshold.
Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons has reiterated her commitment to make MMP work and to guarantee confidence and supply to the coalition.
Confidence and supply is however not the problem as NZ First have also promised that. The passing of legislation however is now much more difficult than it looked on election night.
The Greens only hold three fewer seats than the Alliance but will not be represented in cabinet. The Alliance has four cabinet posts, two ministers outside cabinet and an undersecretary.
ends

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