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
Paralysed man walks again after breakthrough treatment
A paralysed man can walk again after receiving revolutionary treatment which one of the British scientists responsible hailed as a breakthrough "more impressive than a man walking on the Moon" - although others urged caution....
Pistorius to learn sentence for killing girlfriend
SOUTH African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius today learns his sentence for shooting dead his girlfriend on Valentine's Day last year...
Warring S.Sudan leaders accept
SOUTH Sudan President Salva Kiir and his arch-rival rebel chief Riek Machar have accepted mutual responsibility for a 10-month civil war...
US drone crashes at Niger airport
A US drone crash-landed at Niger's main airport for unknown reasons on Monday, the US army said, forcing the closure of the runway for several hours....
Warring South Sudan rivals meet in Tanzania
WARRING South Sudanese factions were meeting Monday in Tanzania in the latest bid to end a 10-month civil war in which thousands of people have been killed...
WHO declares Nigeria Ebola-free
AFRICA''S most populous nation Nigeria has been declared officially Ebola free but warned that it remained vulnerable as long as the virus was raging elsewhere in west Africa...
Do Ugandan tycoons prepare their children to take over their business empires?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter