Two Sikh politicians, have been elected to New Zealand’s 121-member parliament following the recent general election. This marks the beginning of Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi’s fourth successive term, and Parmjeet Parmar’s second term.
The centre-right National Party, to which Bakshi and Parmar belong, failed to get the parliamentary majority even after being placed first with 46 per cent of the votes. The party will have to create a coalition if it wants to extend its nine-year hold on power.
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Mahesh Bindra, a sitting list MP of New Zealand First Party, is out of the Parliament as his party failed to garner enough votes.
Prime Minister Bill English, who leads the National Party, delivered a victory speech in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern has not conceded defeat.
Delhi-born Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi is New Zealand’s first Sikh member of parliament. He was first elected in the 2008 elections. A University of Delhi alumnus, he moved to New Zealand in 2001 with his family. Bakshi contested from the Manukau East constituency in Auckland.
Dr. Parmar, a resident of Auckland, has been living in New Zealand since 1995. She has a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Auckland along with a Bachelor and Masters degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Pune. Parmar contested from Mt Roskill, Auckland constituency.