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New Zealand opposition leader resigns, quits politics

IANS  |  Wellington 

New Zealand's main on Tuesday announced his resignation as of the and his exit from parliament.

Speculation had been building for weeks that English, also a former Prime Minister, would step aside, and the decision became clear after the met for a two-day conference in Tauranga last week, reports

"Now is the right time for me to step aside and embark on new professional and personal challenges. I informed caucus this morning that I am resigning as of party," English said at an emotional press conference on Tuesday morning, in which he teared up.

"I believe this will give National's new leader time to prepare the party for the 2020 election. It has been a huge privilege to lead the party and serve in "

English said he would step aside on February 27 and the party would then vote on a new leader and to take them to the 2020

secured 46 per cent of the vote in the September 2017 elections, giving it 58 seats in parliament, while Labour took home 35.8 per cent and 45 seats.

After weeks of deliberation kingmaker threw his support behind the Labour party, allowing them to form a coalition with the Greens, with as Prime Minister, reported.

Ardern was one of the first to thank English for his public service after he announced his resignation.

"Just heard the news that has decided to stand down. Bill has made a huge contribution through his time in office and to generally. I admire those who serve NZ in this place, and Bill did for a long time...," the tweeted.

English - who entered from the district 27 years ago - is a former and English literature graduate who has six children.

Nicknamed "Boring Bill English", he led Party to its worst ever defeat in 2002.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 09:32 IST