Wellington, New Zealand –
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her handling of the country’s worst mass shootings and her sound response to the coronavirus pandemic has become an international icon but, facing mounting criticism at home, she said on Thursday she would step down.
Holding back tears, Ardern told reporters in Napier that 7 February would be his last day as Prime Minister.
“I am now entering my sixth year in office, and in each of those years I have given my all,” she said.
She also announced that the New Zealand general election would be held on 14 October, and that she would remain an MP until then.
His announcement came as a shock to 5 million people across the country. Although there have been discussions in political circles about Ardern’s possible resignation before the next election, she has always said firmly that she intends to run again.
It is not clear who will take over the premiership until the elections. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson announced that he would not challenge the leadership of the Labor Party, opening up the contest.
Ardern has become an inspiration to women all over the world after winning the top job in 2017 at the age of 37. The following year, she became the second world leader to give birth while in office. When she took her baby girl to the floor of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 2018, she brought smiles to people all over the world.
In March 2019, Ardern faced one of the darkest days in New Zealand history when a white supremacist gunman stormed two mosques in Christchurch, killing 51 people. She was widely praised for the way she embraced the survivors and the Muslim community in New Zealand afterwards.
She has been universally praised for her country’s initial handling of the coronavirus pandemic after New Zealand managed for months to stop the virus at its borders. But this zero-tolerance strategy was abandoned once it was challenged by new variants and vaccines became widely available.
Ardern faced growing anger at home from those who went against coronavirus rules and regulations. La manifestation de l’année dernière, which a commencé sur le terrain du Parlement, a duré plus de trois semaines et s’est terminée by des manifestants jetant des pierres sur la police et incendiant des tentes et des matelas alors qu’ils étaient forces to leave.
The heated feelings around the coronavirus debate have led to a level of vitriol directed at Ardern rarely seen by previous New Zealand captains. This year, Ardern had to cancel an annual barbecue that she hosts due to security reasons.
Ardern faced difficult re-election prospects. His Liberal Labor party won re-election two years ago in a landslide of historic proportions, but recent polls have put his party well behind its Tory rivals.
Ardern has described his job as one of the most exciting and challenging and said it requires a back-up to deal with the unexpected. She said she no longer had that reserve to last for another period.
She said her time in the position was rewarding but challenging.
“But I’m not leaving because it was hard. If it was, I’d probably quit two months out. I’m leaving because this privileged role comes with responsibility, the responsibility of knowing when you’re the right person to lead, and also when you’re not. I know what it takes. The job,” And I know I don’t have enough money to get justice. It’s that simple,” she said.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, whose Labor Party is aligned with New Zealand’s ruling party, said Ardern had “showed the world how he leads with intelligence and strength”.
“You have proven empathy and insight to be powerful leadership qualities,” Albanese wrote on Twitter.
He added, “Jacinda has been a strong supporter of New Zealand, an inspiration to many and a great friend of mine.”
As China became more assertive in the Pacific, Ardern tried to take a more diplomatic approach than neighboring Australia, which she ended up falling out with China for. In an interview with the Associated Press last month, she said that building relationships with smaller Pacific nations should not become a total game with China.
Ardern announced in December that a royal inquiry would look at whether the government made the right decisions in combating COVID-19 and how it could better prepare for future pandemics. Its report is due next year.
On Sunday, Labor will vote to choose a new leader. If no candidate has the support of at least two-thirds, the leadership contest will pass to all party members. Ardern has recommended that the party choose her replacement by the time she finishes on February 7.
Ardern said she had no immediate plans after leaving the post, other than family commitments with daughter Neff and fiancé Clarke Gifford, after the virus outbreak thwarted their previous wedding plans.
“As for Nevi, my mom can’t wait for her when school starts this year,” Ardern said. “And to Clark, let us finally get married.” »