General election for New Zealand in September
New Zealand voters will go to the polls in a general election on Sept. 20, Prime Minister John Key announced Monday.
"I'm announcing the election date well in advance as I believe this gives New Zealanders some certainty and is in the country's best interests," Key said in a statement.
Key said his center-right National Party, which has ruled for two terms in coalition with three minor parties, would be campaigning on its "strong record in government and its plans to continue the good progress New Zealand is making over the next three years."
The government's intention was that parliament would be dissolved on Aug. 14, he said.
The National Party has been polling slightly ahead of the main opposition bloc of the Labor and Green parties in recent polls, despite unpopular policies such as its decision to partially privatize the state-owned power companies.
The New Zealand government is selected from 120 Members of Parliament who are elected in a mixed-member proportional representation system, under which each voter has two votes -- one for a constituency representative and one for a political party. Each party is allocated a number of seats in parliament according to its share of the total party vote.
The New Zealand parliament can sit for a maximum three-year term.
The last general election was held in November 2011.(新华网)