InternationalAsia PacificJacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister resigns, who will replace her?

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister resigns, who will replace her?

Following the shock resignation of New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Adern, the country is now waiting to know who will take over from her.

She told reporters that her last day would be February 7.

“I am entering now my sixth year in office, and for each of those years, I have given my absolute all,” she said.

However, who will take over the role of prime minister is yet unknown while deputy minister Grant Robertson said that he would not be contesting for the leadership of the Labour Party.

Now, the Labour caucus will decide which candidates have more than two-thirds of the vote. On January 22, there will be a caucus vote.

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Jacinda Ardern will notify the Governor-General of her resignation if a leader is elected. If no one is able to obtain this amount of support, the competition will be open to all members, says Newshub.

Global respect but local criticism

Ardern describes her job as challenging and in an emotional speech she said that she no longer has enough in the tank to do it justice.

Recent polls have put her Labour party behind Conservative rivals although she was lauded globally for how she handled the pandemic as New Zealand managed to stop the virus for months in the beginning stages with strict border controls although she was criticized at home for being too strict.

To this end, in December 2022 she announced a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look into whether the government had made the right decision in battling Covid-19 and how to better prepare for future pandemics.

In March 2019, when a white supremacist gunman stormed two mosques in Christchurch and killed 51 people she was widely praised for the way she handled the survivors and for her empathy towards the Muslim community.

Jacinda Ardern: Challenging job

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Jacinda Ardern described her job as privileged but challenging as one had to constantly face unexpected situations.

“But I am not leaving because it was hard. Had that been the case I probably would have departed two months into the job. I am 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 is that simple,” she said.

Ardern said she had began thinking about leaving at the end of 2022.

“The only interesting angle that you will find is that after going on six years of some big challenges, I am human. 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.

“I wouldn’t want this last five and a half years to simply be about the challenges. For me, it’s also been about the progress,” Jacinda Ardern said as she spoke about her achievements which included legislation on climate change and child poverty.

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In a CNN report, political scientist Bryce Edwards from the New Zealand Victoria University of Wellington said Ardern’s resignation was shocking but not completely unexpected.

“She is celebrated throughout the world but her government has plummeted in the polls,” he said.

New Zealand’s next general election will be held on October 14.

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