Michelle Boag – US Elections – Live From Florida – Twizel Constable Bashing – Cop Killer Appeal – Lundy Murders
MICHELLE BOAG: A one woman whirlwind is planning on overhauling the National Party. She has launched a website stoptherot.org.nz. Michelle Boag says she is not only going to have a go for the Presidency but she wants to remake the party. Boag says the National Party has to be totally rebuilt. She says there is no coincidence the campaign is starting today one year after the beginning of the Labour/Alliance government. Michelle Boag gave short shrift to criticism from Maurice Williamson about being a come lately. Jenny Shipley says a battle for Presidency is a healthy sign. Incumbent President John Slater says, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it….bring it on.” Jane Young says that some in the party like John Slater and there will be a battle. That said Boag is tough. In a support base she has some formidable allies and good connections.
US ELECTIONS: George W. Bush is now only a court battle away from becoming the US President. Bush is urging Gore to abandon his plans to challenge the result certified today in Florida by republican Katherine Harris. While republicans celebrated George W. declared victory. Al Gore was on his way to Church and will not yet concede. The Secretary of State for Florida refused to accept a result from Palm Beach County that was two hours away from completion. Senator Jo Leiberman says every vote should be counted. Bush spokesman James Baker says that the “law must prevail and the lawyers must go home.”
LIVE FROM FLORIDA: Q: How do Americans see this? A: This is indeed strange, ironic and coincidental. No-one is particularly surprised anymore at anything. This just goes on and on. We know there will be more and that it can’t be that much worse. Q: Is there any chance Al Gore can win? A: There is still a chance. There are constitutional provisions that allow him to challenge the result. But George Bush on the other hand is now the de-facto President Elect. He has said he wants the President to provide him with facilities to set up an administration.
TWIZEL CONSTABLE BASHING: The policeman found unconscious in his car on Friday still can’t remember how it happened. Residents of Twizel are suspicious and afraid. At Christchurch Hospital police are hoping high tech tests will help reveal what happened to Constable Shane Lacy. Officers were today at the scene where it is suspected the constable was struck on the back of the head. They want to hear from anyone who was in Twizel at the time. Twizel’s fire brigade were sent out to find the constable as the nearest police station is some way off. Police say they have a totally open mind about what happened to the constable.
COP KILLER APPEAL: The Court of Appeal has reduced the minimum non-parole sentence of the killer of policeman Murray Stretch from 18 years to 16 years on the ground that his guilty plea was not taken sufficiently into account.
LUNDY MURDERS: The Police have held a news conference to say that Mark Lundy is not their prime suspect in the murder of his daughter and wife Amber and Christine. The Police say that Mark Lundy has always been treated as a victim by their inquiry. Mark Lundy clearly regrets giving a Sunday Newspaper interview last week. Mark Lundy was on a weekly business trip to Wellington at the time of the murder. The police are saying nothing else about their suspects. “You only get one shot at this sort of thing, you’ve got to be right and we intend to be,” said a spokesman.