New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern She announced Thursday that she would step down for a new leader within weeks, saying she did not believe she had the ability to seek re-election in the October election.
Speaking at a press conference, Ardern said her term will end on February 7, when she expects a new Labor prime minister to be sworn in – though “depending on the process that may be earlier”.
“It was my decision,” Ardern said. “Leading a country is the most privileged job a person can have, but it is also the most challenging. You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank, plus a little reserve for those unforeseen challenges.”
“I no longer have enough in the tank [the job] justice,” she added.
At the end of 2022, she said, she took some time to consider whether she had what it takes to continue as prime minister – and ultimately concluded it was time to step down.
But she added, “I’m not leaving because it was hard. If that was the case, I probably would have left two months into the job,” listing the various challenges her department faced, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 Christchurch terrorist attack and the deadly volcanic eruption on the island of Waiheke. , also known as Wyatt. Island.
She added that the early announcement will allow planning and preparation by government agencies and political parties.
The general elections will be held on October 14.
When Ardern became prime minister in 2017 at the age of 37, she was New Zealand’s third female leader and one of the youngest in the world. Within a year, she had given birth in office – the second world leader ever to do so.
She was re-elected for a second term in 2020, a victory bolstered by her government’s “start hard and go early” approach to the pandemic, which helped New Zealand avoid the devastating outbreaks seen elsewhere.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted praise for Ardern after the announcement on Thursday, saying she “showed the world how smart and strong he drives” and was “an amazing friend of mine”.
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