New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced, in a reportedly tearful press conference, that she will resign on February 7th.
Jacinda Ardern, 42, who became infamous on the world stage for her fervent support of draconian lockdown policies during the Chinese coronavirus crisis, announced that she will be stepping down her role as prime minister, a position she has held since 2017.
The left-wing politician denied that she was stepping down over a yet to be disclosed scandal or because she felt she could no longer command a majority in the New Zealand parliament.
Reportedly holding back tears, she said: “I am not leaving because I believe we can’t win the election but because I believe we can and will,” in a press conference from Napier, according to the New Zealand Herald.
However, Ardern and her left-wing Labour Party have seen their support among the public fall to its lowest level since 2017. A Kantar One News Poll last month found that the Labour Party had fallen by one per cent to just 33 per cent support, and therefore in the event of an election would likely be forced into forming a coalition government with the Green Party and the indigenous Māori Party.
The poll also found that her personal popularity had fallen to 29 per cent, the lowest since before she became prime minister. Meanwhile a conservative bloc of the centre-right National Party polling at 38 per cent and the Libertarian Act party at 11 per cent could potentially form a coalition government of their own.
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“I am human. We give as much as we can for as long as we can and then it’s time. And for me, it’s time,” Ardern said.
“I am leaving because with such a privileged job comes a big responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead – and also when you’re not.”
A caucus vote will be held this weekend within the Labour Party to find her replacement and an election has been scheduled to take place on October 14th of this year.
The Ardern government drew international criticism over its attitude towards individual liberties during the Chinese coronavirus. In 2021, the the far-left prime minister openly bragged about ushering in a two-tiered society, in which those who had taken a coronavirus vaccine were granted more rights.
Ardern, an acolyte of the Davos-based World Economic Forum, also drew some pushback at home, with New Zealanders staging a Canada-style freedom convoy of their own last year, blocking off central Wellington near the parliament building over public sector vaccine mandates and other restrictions being imposed by the government.
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