Bill English has become the likely successor to John Key after two challengers pulled out of the race for premier. English is almost certain to be confirmed in the role at a caucus meeting of his party on Monday.

Neuseeland PK Bill English in Wellington (Reuters/C. Greenfield )

A special caucus meeting of New Zealand’s ruling National Party next Monday seems almost certain to confirm Finance Minister Bill English as party leader and the country’s new prime minister, after two rivals for the job withdrew their nominations on Thursday.

English, a farmer with degrees in commerce and literature, was named as preferred successor by former Prime Minister John Key as he resigned for personal reasons in a surprise move earlier this week.

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