Jacinda Ardern to resign as New Zealand prime minister next month
The politician’s term ends on February 7, following which she will continue to remain an MP.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday that she will be resigning from her post next month, reported CNN. Ardern, whose term ends on February 7, said that she will not contest the national elections scheduled to be held in October.
“I am leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility,” she said at the annual caucus meeting of the New Zealand Labour Party, reported The Guardian. “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.”
In 2017, Ardern became the world’s youngest woman head of a country when she took over as the prime minister at the age of 37. She led New Zealand through the Covid-19 pandemic, the White Island volcanic eruption that killed 22 persons and the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.
Following the Christchurch attacks in 2019, the Ardern administration had swiftly introduced gun law reforms in the country banning military-style semi-automatic weapons.
“After going on six years of some big challenges, I am human,” Ardern said on Thursday. “Politicians are human. We give all that we can for as long as we can, and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time.”
In 2020, Ardern was re-elected for a second term, on the back of her administration’s effective approach to curb the pandemic, which helped New Zealand avoid the devastating outbreaks seen elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand Labour Party has a week to elect Ardern’s successor, reported The Guardian. The new candidate will have to hold more than two-thirds of support within the caucus to become the new leader and prime minister.
On January 22 a caucus vote for a new leader will take place, however if no candidate meets the required support, the leadership contest will go to the wider Labour membership.