WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Lawmakers from New Zealand's main conservative party have chosen their first indigenous Maori leader as they regroup after an election loss.
National Party members selected 41-year-old Simon Bridges from among five candidates Tuesday. He is a former lawyer and prosecutor first elected to Parliament 10 years ago. He held several ministerial portfolios in the previous government, including energy, labor and transport.
He replaces former Prime Minister Bill English, who announced earlier this month he was quitting.
The National Party was in power for nine years before the election in September, when it won the most votes of any single party. But the liberal Labour Party was able to forge an alliance with two smaller parties and form a government under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.