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Alliance Collapse Threatens Legality Of Government

23 March 2002

Helen Clark must answer questions about the legality of her Government under the Electoral Integrity Act, says National Leader Bill English.

"Today it has emerged that Laila Harre is set to take over as Alliance Leader, with Jim Anderton presumably forming his own party. Helen Clark must explain how the Electoral Integrity Act applies to this situation, and whether Jim Anderton and his fellow defectors will resign from Parliament.

"The Electoral Integrity Act was designed to maintain the proportionality of results from the election. With parts of Alliance set to split off, it could mean that Parliament is illegally constituted.

"Last election party-hopping was a big issue. When Alamein Kopu left the Alliance Party, Jim Anderton said her actions 'breach every standard of morality and ethics that are known.' Helen Clark told cheering crowds that 'To MPs, the message is simple. You will stay with the party whose voters put you in Parliament - or you will get out'.

"It says a lot about the integrity of Labour and Alliance that they are now trying to avoid their own Act. They must front up to Parliament, and the public, and explain whether the Government complies with their own law," said Mr English.

Ends

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