Chris Hipkins confirmed as New Zealand leader, picks deputy
Chris Hipkins was confirmed Sunday as New Zealand's next prime minister and he chose Carmel Sepuloni as his deputy, marking the first time a person with Pacific Island heritage has risen to that rank.
Hipkins got the unanimous support of lawmakers from his Labour Party after he was the only candidate to enter the contest to replace Jacinda Ardern, who shocked the nation Thursday when she announced she was resigning after more than five years as leader.
Hipkins will be officially sworn in to his new role on Wednesday. He will have less than nine months before contesting a tough general election, with opinion polls indicating his party is trailing its conservative opposition.
The lack of other candidates for leader indicated that party lawmakers had rallied behind Hipkins to avoid a drawn-out contest and any sign of disunity following Arderns departure.
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