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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New N.Z. Premier

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Jenny Shipley, a leading light in New Zealand's conservative National Party, was Tuesday poised to become the country's first female prime minister.

In a slickly executed coup, the 45-year-old minister forced Prime Minister Jim Bolger to make the surprise announcement of his retirement and end his seven-year reign in anti-climax.

After a one-hour meeting on Tuesday, the National Party, which governs with support from the nationalist New Zealand First Party, selected Shipley unopposed as its new leader.