New Zealand’s Ardern To Leave Office, Sets October Election

A New Zealand election will be held in October after Ardern leaves office

Despite serving nearly six years in office, she said she didn’t have the reserves to serve another term.

Jacinda Ardern has called New Zealand’s next general election for Oct. 14.

Until then, Ardern will remain a lawmaker. She will step down as prime minister on Feb. 7.

After almost six years in office, she said she had given her “absolute all,” but she did not have the reserves to serve another term.

Her liberal Labour Party won reelection two years ago in a landslide of historic proportions, but recent polls have put it behind its conservative rivals.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday that she will step down as New Zealand’s leader and not run for re-election this year.

It will be Ardern’s last day in office on Feb. 7, she told reporters in Napier.

For each of my six years in office, I have given my very best,” she said.

As one of the most privileged and challenging jobs, Ardern’s job required a reserve to cope with the unexpected. She said she no longer had that reserve for another term.

Her experience in office has been fulfilling, but challenging, she said. “I am not leaving because it was hard. If that were the case, I probably would have left two months in. With such a privileged position comes a lot of responsibility, and I want to know when I am the right person for the job. She said, “I know this job requires a lot of energy and I know I do not have enough in me to do it justice. It is that simple.”

Despite winning reelection two years ago in a landslide of historic proportions, Ardern’s liberal Labour Party is falling behind its conservative rivals in recent polls.

Despite New Zealand managing to stop the Coronavirus pandemic for months at its borders, she abandoned her zero-tolerance strategy once it was challenged by new variants and vaccines became available.

There was more criticism at home that the strategy was too strict.

In December, Ardern announced that a Royal Commission of Inquiry would examine whether the government made the right decisions in dealing with COVID-19 and how to better prepare for future pandemics.

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