New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to resign
(CNN) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday local time that she will step down “no later than” February 7. The president maintained that she does not believe that she has the energy to try to be re-elected in the October elections.
During a press conference, Ardern said that he expects a new prime minister to be sworn in on that date, although he clarified that “depending on the process, that could be sooner.”
“The decision was mine,” Ardern said. “Leading a country is the most privileged job someone can have, but also the most challenging. You can’t and shouldn’t unless you have a full tank of energy, plus a little in reserve for those unexpected challenges.”
“I don’t have enough in the tank anymore to [el trabajo]”, complete.
The president said that at the end of 2022 she took time to assess whether she had what it takes to continue as prime minister. And ultimately, she concluded that it was time to step aside.
However, he assured: “I’m not quitting because (the job) has been difficult, if that was the case I probably would have left within two months of starting.” He then proceeded to list the many challenges his government faced, including the covid-19 pandemic, the 2019 Christchurch terror attack and the deadly volcanic eruption on Whakaari Island. Ardern served five and a half years in office.
The president said the early announcement will allow for planning and preparation by government agencies and political parties.
General elections are scheduled for October 14.
One of the youngest leaders in the world
When Ardern became New Zealand’s prime minister in 2017, she was 37 years old: the third woman to lead the country and one of the world’s youngest leaders. In the following year she gave birth while she was in office, becoming the second world leader to do so.
She was re-elected to a second term in 2020. A victory buoyed by her government’s “face hard, face early” approach to the pandemic, helping New Zealand avoid the devastating outbreaks seen elsewhere.
Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese praised Ardern on Twitter after Thursday’s announcement, saying she “has shown the world how to lead with intellect and strength” and has been “a great friend to me.”