New Zealand's election kingmaker says he can't win
WELLINGTON: New Zealand's maverick "kingmaker" Winston Peters expressed frustration at public criticism Thursday after opening talks with rival party leaders on breaking the country's general election deadlock.
Peters is expected next week to anoint the winner of the September 23 poll after conservative Prime Minister Bill English and opposition leader Jacinda Ardern both failed to secure an outright majority.
Both need support from Peters' New Zealand First (NZF) to get over the line under New Zealand's complicated mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system.
However, critics have lamented the system for allowing a party that only attracted 7.5 percent of the vote to decide the South Pacific nation's political future.
"The whole thing has been depicted as one man holding the country to ransom," Peters told reporters, defending his democratic credentials.