New Zealand First leader Winston Peters talks to media on Thursday, October 19, 2017, in Wellington, New Zealand. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)
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New Zealand's center-left opposition leader Jacinda Ardern was poised to become the country's prime minister Thursday in a stunning rise to power, after maverick populist Winston Peters backed the charismatic 37-year-old to form a government.The 72-year-old "kingmaker" was full of praise for Ardern, who revived Labour's fortunes when she became party leader just weeks out from the election.Once the Greens formally approve the coalition, Ardern will become New Zealand's youngest leader since 1856 and only the third female prime minister of the nation of 4.6 million.Peters thrashed out policy positions over 12 days of negotiations and said he only made his decision 15 minutes before making it public.Peters refused to specify what concessions he received from Labour, while Ardern said policy positions and ministerial portfolios would be revealed next week.
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