New Zealand PM Bill English calls national election for Sept 23

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English speaks in Wellington, New Zealand, to announce the country's general election date.
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English speaks in Wellington, New Zealand, to announce the country's general election date.PHOTO: REUTERS

WELLINGTON (REUTERS) - New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English called an election on Wednesday for Sept 23 after taking over as premier last month following the unexpected resignation of his predecessor John Key.

Mr English's centre-right National Party has governed for the past eight years and is seeking a fourth straight term, this time without the popular Mr Key. The next election was due around September this year.

The centre-left Labour and Green parties have formed an alliance to challenge the National Party.