Robert Muldoon dies

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The Independent Online
WELLINGTON (Reuter) - Sir Robert Muldoon, a former prime minister of New Zealand, died yesterday morning, aged 70. He was prime minister from 1975 to 1984, and dominated New Zealand politics for a much longer period. The present Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, described him as 'a very strong, very vigorous politician'.

He became leader of the conservative National Party in 1974, and led the party to a landslide victory the following year. He remained in office until 1984, when he miscalculated by calling a snap election and was defeated by the Labor Party. Refusing to step down as party leader, he was voted out by his parliamentary colleagues at the end of the year.

Mr Muldoon retired from parliament in 1991, saying he was unable to persuade the National Party government to follow more moderate policies. He then became a popular radio talk show host.

The Independent will publish an obituary tomorrow.