Helen Clark, NZ Prime Minister, to start seeking new coalition partners

Prime Minister Helen Clark on Sunday began the process of cobbling together deals with possible coalition partners to form a stable minority government following her narrow win in New Zealand's nail-biting election. Clark's ruling Labour Party won 50 seats to the main opposition National Party's 49 seats in the poll Saturday, giving neither party an overall majority in the new 122-seat parliament. Clark, 55, will become the first Labour leader since World War II to win three terms if she can agree to deals with small parties to support her in government. Clark said she wanted to "heal wounds" in New Zealand society opened up during a divisive campaign dominated by National leader Don Brash's pledge to cut special programs aimed at the country's impoverished Maori minority, reported AP.

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