Key In Clark Out

8 November 2008 – National Party leader John Key, 47, has ousted Labour’s Helen Clark from office and a nine-year term, with a mantra of change. Prime Minister Helen Clark conceded defeat. Clark, 58, has led the country since 1999 and was seeking a fourth term. She said she would remain in Parliament but will quit as Labour Party leader. In his victory speech, Key said: “Today, New Zealand has spoken, in their hundreds of thousands, they have voted for change.” Foreign affairs and trade policies are unlikely to change under the new leadership– including the ban on nuclear-powered ships entering New Zealand’s ports that has rankled the United States. In other publications, Britain’s Telegraph described Key’s victory as putting “Boadicea to the sword.” In the Guardian: “[Key] has taken a more pragmatic approach by accepting many of the Labour government’s policies… by moving [the National Party] towards the centre and broadening its appeal to blue-collar workers.” And in the Australian: “Far from killing him, Key, the son of a poor Jewish refugee widow who grew up in a housing commission flat, learnt about making money from hard work. On Saturday night, he achieved the second of his two boyhood goals in life. He wanted to be a millionaire – he achieved that years ago – and he wanted to be the prime minister of New Zealand.”

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