New Zealand PM Wins Confidence Vote (FWD)

Tue Sep 8 12:49:42 PDT 1998

The latest chapter in the NZ MMP-parliamentary system saga----
New Zealand PM Wins Confidence Vote


.c The Associated Press 

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Prime Minister Jenny Shipley secured her grip
on power Tuesday by winning a parliamentary vote of confidence for her new
minority coalition government. 

The vote passed 62-58, putting an end to weeks of political turmoil after an
earlier Shipley coalition collapsed. 

However, lawmakers who supported the new coalition warned that if Shipley's
government didn't cut taxes and spending, they would vote against her in a
February confidence vote, thereby forcing an election. 

``Minority government is new and I accept that many people aren't sure about
it. All I ask is that they judge us by our results,'' the prime minister said.

A coalition between Shipley's National Party and the New Zealand First party
lost its one-seat majority when a member defected in July. Since then, the
coalition has had less than a majority of seats and has relied on eight votes
from a center-right party and 10 independents. 

The confidence vote came after a sharp downward revision of the country's
economic outlook Tuesday, which showed the economy shrinking and budgets
moving into the red over the next two years. 

The Asian crisis and low commodity prices have caused the turnaround, which
Finance Minister Bill Birch said is New Zealand's worst economic crisis in 20

AP-NY-09-08-98 1422EDT 
I mention again that there should be a total separation of legislative and
executive powers (i.e. separate elections of chief executive officers and the
Parliament) so that the executive part of the government can function even if
the MMP Parliament is in a state of chaos.

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