New Zealand PM meets with two minor parties to form government

Prime Minister Helen Clark opened talks with two minor parties as she moved to set up her third minority government Monday following her party's narrow victory in parliamentary elections last month. "I think we are in a process of lengthy negotiation to form a stable and durable government" which is "the starting point," Clark said. Speaking after Labour was confirmed at the weekend as holding the biggest number of parliamentary seats, Clark said she "would like to make good progress this week" toward forming a new government.

Labour holds 50 seats in the 121-member parliament following the Sept. 17 elections, as compared with 48 seats for the main opposition National Party.

"All options are on the table," she told reporters ahead of meeting the leftist Green Party, which has already signaled it will support a Labour-led government.

Labour has said it will form a coalition with the Progressive Party, which holds one seat, and expects support on all key votes from the Greens, which holds six, reports the AP. I.L.

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