New Zealand PM emphasizes on economic recovery as new cabinet sworn in

New Zealand’s new cabinet was officially sworn in, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stressing economic recovery from “one of the most challenging times in history.”

“Today I reminded cabinet that the honour of serving comes with enormous responsibility. We take nothing for granted in leading the team of five million over the next three years,” Ardern said after the first meeting of the new cabinet on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The parliament will be opened on November 25.

The final election results released by the Electoral Commission on Friday showed the Labor Party led by Ardern won 50 percent of the votes, which enabled the Labor to rule by itself. However, she has chosen to set up a coalition with the Green Party, giving the party two minister portfolios outside cabinet.

The Electoral Commission also released the official results of the end of life choice and cannabis legalization and control referendums.

New Zealanders have voted in support of the End of Life Choice Act, and against the Cannabis Legalization and Control Bill becoming law in the referendums on October 17 along with the general election.

According to Friday’s final result, about 65.1 per cent of the electorate voted in favour of legalizing euthanasia, which were 1,893,290 votes, and 33.7 per cent said no in the End of Life Choice referendum, or 979,079 votes.

In the cannabis question, 48.4 per cent of the voters, or 1,406,973 votes, said yes, and 50.7 per cent or 1,474,635 ballots chose “no,” the result showed.