New Zealand’s National party has chosen Bill English as the country’s 39th Prime Minister. He will be succeeding John Key, who announced his surprise resignation last week.
English’s name was confirmed for the role during a National Party meeting, which took place early on 12 December 2016. He was formerly serving the nation as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (MoF).
While Paul Bennett will be replacing English as the new Deputy PM, senior Cabinet minister Steven Joyce has been named as the new finance minister.
About Bill English
English’s name was suggested for the role by outgoing PM John Key himself, as a result of which he won the nomination unopposed. The two other contenders, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Corrections Minister Judith Collins, conceded defeat last week itself.
In his new role, English will get to decide the date of next year’s general election. An early vote is much expected. Outgoing PM John Key, who was widely expected to win his fourth straight election next year, explained his sudden resignation by saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family and couldn’t have possibly sat through an entire fourth term.