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Friday, July 19, 2024

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Resigns

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigned on Thursday, announcing her resignation just ten months before the end of her term. The news comes as polls suggest her party is losing support. Although it has gained momentum in recent months, it will likely face a tough election campaign this year.

New Zealand has been grappling with various crises during Ardern’s office. She has overseen the country’s response to the Christchurch mosque shootings, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the White Island volcanic eruption. However, her policies have prompted criticism, as well.

When she took office in 2017, she became the youngest woman to lead a government in the world. Her critics and the public have praised Ardern’s leadership style. But a recent wave of polls shows that her Labour Party is losing ground to the more conservative opposition. In addition, the country’s inflation has reached three-decade highs.

The prime minister said she does not feel prepared to lead another term and needs more energy to continue working. Her decision to resign is expected to give time for a new leader to be elected. According to a statement, the Labour Party will hold a vote on Sunday for a successor.

The announcement comes as a surprise to many in the country. Jacinda Ardern’s popularity has dropped substantially over the last year. Polls have consistently shown that her party is behind its more conservative rivals. This will likely mean a tough election campaign for the Labour Party in the coming years.

Ardern has enjoyed massive global praise for her leadership style, but she also received some criticism for her economic policies. Some analysts have argued that Ardern’s tenure as prime minister has contributed to the country’s economic downturn.

Amid the actual crisis, Ardern also found time to have a baby. She gave birth to her son, Oscar, while in office. During the five years she served as prime minister, she also managed the COVID-19 pandemic, the White Island volcanic eruption, and the Canterbury earthquake. She has also led New Zealand through the worst mass shooting in history.

As a result of her success in leading a country during crises, Ardern was voted the youngest prime minister in the world. However, she is not a politician whose popularity is based on the premise of being in power. She has been criticized for her economic policies, and her government shut out almost all foreigners for nearly two years.

She has been a vocal proponent of New Zealand’s independence but has expressed concerns about Chinese influence in the Pacific. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she issued sanctions against Russia. With the departure of Ardern, the country has a new leader who will likely face a brutal election campaign this year. Analysts expect a hard-fought campaign, with polls showing Labour falling behind its conservative opponents. The party’s rank-and-file members will likely select the next Labour leader.

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