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WELLINGTON. New Zealand's conservative National Party began another three years in power yesterday after an election that foreshadowed radical changes.

WELLINGTON. New Zealand's conservative National Party began another three years in power yesterday after an election that foreshadowed radical changes.

Prime Minister John Key claimed a mandate to carry out a right-wing program of welfare reform and partial privatisation of state assets, but voters denied him an overall majority. With 60 seats in the 121-member Parliament, he must rely on coalition partners to pass his legislative program.

The main opposition Labour Party was pondering a revival program under a new leader after its worst electoral performance in 15 years, which cost it eight members of Parliament. Leader Phil Goff, who took over after Helen Clark quit on losing to Key in 2008, was tipped to announce his retirement.


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