BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 06:49 GMT 07:49 UK
New Zealand PM calls snap election
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Helen Clark is well ahead in opinion polls

New Zealand's Prime Minister, Helen Clark, has announced an early general election.

New Zealanders will go to the polls on 27 July, two months before the end of the government's three-year term.

The announcement follows weeks of speculation and uncertainty.

Despite being well ahead in opinion polls, Helen Clark's Labour Party has been frustrated by the recent break up of its coalition partner, the Alliance Party.

Bill English
Bill English's National Party is struggling
Miss Clark says the Alliance Party turmoil is now having an impact on the day-to-day running of parliament.

She blames opposition parties for time-wasting tactics which she says are delaying the passage of important legislation.

Helen Clark says there is no point in parliament sitting for another two months.

She has decided to seek a new mandate to lead by calling a fresh election.

Black eye

The latest opinion polls show Labour support steady at 56%, with the opposition National Party struggling on just 24%.

In a bid to raise his profile and his appeal, National Party leader Bill English took part in a highly publicised charity boxing match last week.

The 40-year-old suffered a narrow defeat and a black eye.

But Helen Clark has also suffered for charity: she attracted worldwide headlines this year by admitting her role in the sale of fake art.

The prime minister confessed that artwork sold for charity under her name was not her own.

But with an election now just weeks away, Ms Clark's government is highlighting other achievements, including a growing economy, lower unemployment and more spending on public and social services.

See also:

15 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
23 Feb 02 | South Asia
27 Mar 02 | Country profiles
26 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes