Jacinda Ardern resigns as New Zealand Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern shocks the world and resigns as New Zealand Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern choked back tears as she announced her resignation as New Zealand Prime Minister in an emotional press conference.

Her resignation will take effect on Sunday, when the Labor Party can elect her successor, or on February 7 if the process has been dragged out.

Ms Ardern said she hopes to find the energy and heart to stay in the job over the Christmas break “but I couldn’t do it”.

‘I am human. Politicians are people. We give everything as long as we can – and then the time has come. And for me, it’s about time,” she said.

“I know what this job requires. And I know I don’t have enough left in the tank to do it justice.

“I’m leaving because with such a privileged job comes great responsibility. The responsibility of knowing when you are the right person to lead – and also when you are not.’

Jacinda Ardern choked back tears as she announced her resignation as New Zealand Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern choked back tears as she announced her resignation as New Zealand Prime Minister

Ms Ardern is stepping down at just 42 after becoming leader on October 26, 2017, just over five years ago, and was New Zealand’s youngest-ever Prime Minister.

She insisted her party was lagging in the polls as the rival National Party had nothing to do with her decision to step down ahead of the upcoming election.

“I’m not going because I believe we can’t win the election, but because I believe we can and will,” she said.

“But we need new shoulders for the challenges of this and the next three years.”

During her resignation speech, Ms Ardern announced that the next New Zealand general election would be held on October 14.

The retiring prime minister was asked if she would take up a role at the UN after leaving office and gave no clear answer.

Instead, she insisted she had “no plans” other than relaxing with her daughter Neve and marrying her fiancé Clarke Gayford after their wedding was canceled due to Covid restrictions.

“I’m looking forward to spending time with my family again … so Neve is looking forward to it, mum is looking forward to being there when you start school this year and to Clarke, let’s finally get married,” she said.

Ms Ardern imposed some of the toughest Covid restrictions in the world, only allowing visitors in less than a year ago

Ms Ardern imposed some of the toughest Covid restrictions in the world, only allowing visitors in less than a year ago

Ms Ardern said she has yet to tell her daughter about her plans because “four-year-olds are talkative, I couldn’t take the risk”.

She said she left with no regrets and offered an easy way to remember.

“As someone who always tried to be friendly,” she said.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed his admiration for his close ally and wished her well after politics.

“Jacinda Ardern showed the world how to lead with intellect and strength. She has shown that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities,” he said.

“Jacinda was a passionate advocate for New Zealand, an inspiration to so many and a great friend to me.”

There’s more to come

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Bradford Betz

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