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Selasa, 11 Agustus 2020

Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand coronavirus cluster could delay next month's general election - ABC News

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hinted the country's general election may be postponed in the wake of the latest coronavirus cluster.

Ms Ardern delayed a key step toward next month's poll on Wednesday, as the country was plunged back into lockdown after the discovery of the first COVID-19 cases in more than three months.

Ms Ardern announced she would suspend the dissolution of Parliament — which would clear the way for an election on September 19 — until next Monday.

She said no decision had yet been made on delaying the actual poll, but that she had sought advice about whether it was a viable option.

"Parliament dissolving does mean that if we needed to convene Parliament for any reason, we wouldn't be able to do so," she said.

"We've therefore decided it would be prudent to defer the dissolution of Parliament by at least a few days, to preserve all options for, if needed, reconvening Parliament, or if needed, for the purposes of the date of the general election.

"So that will be extended until Monday.

"We're seeking advice around the options of the issue of the election from the electoral commission, just so that we make sure we have all those options available to us."

New Zealand health officials are urgently tracing the source of four new cases of COVID-19, all within one family in Auckland, the country's largest city.

The cluster, the first cases reported in the country for 102 days, led Ms Ardern to again lock down the city late on Tuesday.

Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the infected family was in strict isolation at home, but one woman had travelled to tourist spots in Rotorua while she was symptomatic.

Reuters

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2020-08-12 03:08:00Z
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