Iranian-Born Woman Elected to New Zealand Parliament

Meet Golriz Ghahraman, the Green Party's newest Member of Parliament with fellow MP Marama Davidson. Image Marama Davidson  Instagram

Winston Peters, a veteran New Zealand politician who has now held the balance of power three times, has in past elections formed coalition governments with both the National Party and Labour.

Coalition talks in New Zealand entered a new phase Saturday after official final election results narrowed the gap between the two leading parties.

Analysts expected the New Zealand dollar to show little reaction to the final results, given that the "special votes" had been widely expected to favour the left-leaning parties based on previous elections.

'We will continue our negotiations in earnest with potential support parties, beginning this weekend'.

The opposition Labour Party, led by Jacinda Ardern, picked up one more seat than provisionally forecast to take 46 in total, with 36.9% of votes.

Popular views believed Peters would choose National Party eventually, given the voters' say, though he started negotiations with both sides this week in an insouciant manner.

She has now become New Zealand's first refugee lawmaker.

Catalonian Government claims victory in referendum
Spain's government vowed to stop the vote going ahead and threatened to suspend any public official who helped organise it. Spain's prime minister Mariano Rajoy and the European Commission have declared the election illegal.

Green Party leader James Shaw echoed her words.

"I don't think it weakens it significantly at all", referring to National's negotiating position.

The Green Party is today welcoming its newest Member of Parliament, human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman, following the release of the special vote results, which also provide an even stronger mandate for a change of government.

"The New Zealand First supporters tend to be older, they tend to see immigration as a big issue, so a lot of the anti-immigration sentiment is concentrated in New Zealand First supporters".

He has opened preliminary coalition talks with both parties in recent days and given himself a deadline of next Thursday to make a decision.

If Labour, the Greens and NZ First ally, they would have a parliamentary majority of six, far more comfortable than the two seat majority delivered on election night, and which Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has indicated might make negotiation of a centre-left government unviable. These may include plans to slash migration to 10,000 a year - a drop of more than 60,000; a ban on foreigners buying land, and establishment of a foreign ownership register; moving public service jobs out of Wellington to regional areas; holding a referendum on the anti-smacking law; and installing New Zealand woollen carpets in all government departments, schools and agencies.

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