Bill English confirmed as new New Zealand Prime Minister
Wellington, Dec 12 (IANS) New Zealand’s ruling centre-right National Party on Monday confirmed that Bill English is replacing outgoing Prime Minister John Key and the new deputy Prime Minister will be Paula Bennett.
English, who was elected by his parliamentary caucus exactly a week after Key announced his shock resignation, repeatedly stressed in a broadcast press conference that the government under his leadership would follow the same policy settings laid down under Key’s eight years as the country’s leader, Xinhua reported.
He had already said that Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce would replace him as finance minister, but he declined on Monday to outline any further changes to his cabinet, saying they would be announced before Christmas.
English, 54, has been deputy to Key and finance minister since the National Party came to power in 2008.
He will lead the government into the next general election, which must take place by September next year.
He became National Party leader in 2001 and led the party to its worst ever general election defeat in 2002.