World
New Zealand PM accused of using royals as vote booster
Publish Date: Apr 08, 2014
New Zealand PM accused of using royals as vote booster
OTS Britains Prince William (C) and his wife Catherine (L) meet a Maori warrior during a welcoming ceremony at Government House in Wellington. PHOTO BY AFP
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WELLINGTON - New Zealand's opposition on Tuesday accused Prime Minister John Key of trying to use Britain's visiting royals to boost his popularity ahead of a general election.

Prince William, wife Kate and baby Prince George arrived in New Zealand on Monday and were greeted by Key at Wellington Airport before meeting the conservative leader again at an official welcoming ceremony.

He is scheduled to meet the royals at least five more times during the 10-day tour, prompting opposition Labour Party leader David Cunliffe to say they were being used for "pre-election PR from the prime minister".

"I guess he likes the camera time," said Cunliffe, who will attempt to derail Key's bid for a third term in the election on September 20.

"I think the public will watch closely to see how the prime minister treats his presence on the tour in an election year."

Cunliffe said he welcomed the young royals, who are extremely popular in New Zealand, but said contacts with politicians should be "as even-handed as possible" so close to an election.

Key dismissed suggestions he was trying to get too close to the royals, saying all national leaders had to meet visiting dignitaries regularly.

"I'm not going to be barnacle attached to them over a 10-day tour. There's a degree of normality about my engagements," he told reporters on Monday.

Opinion polls show Key appears headed for a comfortable victory in September's election, although New Zealand's complicated system of proportional representation makes it notoriously difficult to predict results.

The royals were enjoying a rest day in Wellington on Tuesday as they recover from the long flight from London for the three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia.

Prince George, who was the star of the show when the family arrived on Monday, will have a play session with a group of local babies on Wednesday. His parents will ride in a jet boat and sail America's Cup yachts while in New Zealand.

The Australian leg of the trip includes an excursion to Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the country's fabled red centre.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Centre for Science and Environment welcomes move to improve Delhi air quality
Centre for Science and Environment (SCE) has welcomed a move by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to direct a 14-point action agenda to improve the air quality of Delhi....
A country braced for Africa
Namibia will vote in Africa''s first electronic ballot Friday, an election that will usher in a new president....
She was set on fire for resisting molestation
A teenage girl has died one week after a gang of men set her on fire for resisting their attempts to molest her....
Islamic State group gains toehold in Libya: experts
With Libya engulfed in chaos, the town of Derna in the east of the largely lawless country is emerging as a new stronghold for the Islamic State jihadist group, experts say....
Two Czech ministers from the centre-left government received envelopes containing poison last week, according to a local official and media....
Kenyan unions warn thousands of workers to leave restive north
Thousands of Kenyan civil servants, teachers and medics have been warned by their unions to leave troubled northeastern regions hit by a wave of insurgent attacks, reports said Tuesday....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter