New Zealand Prime Minister Steps Down


On January 19, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation from office. Her statement came as a great surprise. According to her, she no longer has the strength to lead the country. 

On Thursday, during a press conference at her party’s annual caucus meeting, she admitted that six years as prime minister has been difficult for her. She also added that she no longer sees a possibility of staying in office or running for office in the next election.

Ardern confessed that she thought about stepping down over the summer vacation. She stated: “I’m leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility — the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.”

Ardern announced that she would resign as leader of the Labor Party by February 7. Moreover, she underlined that she made a decision to completely withdraw from politics. Consequently, the elections of October 14 will be held without her. However, she believes that the ruling party has every chance of winning again. 

Ardern was the youngest state leader in the world when she was elected as prime minister in 2017. She was 37 years old. Her young age made her a star in the media, as she attracted a lot of attention. In the six years Ardern has been in office, New Zealand has survived terrorist attacks in Christchurch, earthquakes, political and economic crises, and a coronavirus pandemic. Under her government, abortion was legalized in the country. She also made a speech at a pride parade. 

Nevertheless, against the backdrop of the deteriorating economic situation after the pandemic, her rating began to fall. New Zealanders especially criticized the slow removal of anti-covid restrictions by her government. 

Ardern said that she wants to spend more time with her four-year-old daughter, as well as finally marry her partner, television host Clarke Gayford. 

Featured image by: Marty Melville / AFP/Getty Images

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