New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation on Thursday, saying she “no longer has the energy” to continue five-and-a-half years in power, nine months before a general election.
• Read more: New Zealand may raise voting age to 16
• Read more: New Zealand wants to tax cow farts
“I am human. We give as much as we can, as long as we can, and then it’s time. For me, that moment has arrived,” Ms Ardern told a rally of her Labor party.
“I don’t have enough energy for another four years,” he added.
Jacinda Ardern, 42, became prime minister in a coalition government in 2017 and led the centre-left Labor Party to a landslide victory in the next election three years later.
During his tenure, he faced the Covid-19 pandemic, a deadly volcanic eruption and the country’s worst attack, the 2019 killing of 51 Muslim worshipers at a Christchurch mosque by a white supremacist.
Long enjoying record approval ratings, sometimes called “Jacintamania,” he has recently seen his party’s and his personal popularity ratings plummet in the polls as the economic situation worsens and right-wing opposition strengthens.
Election on October 14
Last month, Ms Ardern’s stress was evident when she was caught on microphone unknowingly calling an opposition leader an “arrogant ass”.
In her first public appearance since parliament began its summer recess a month ago, Ms Ardern explained on Thursday that she hoped to use the break to find energy to continue governing.
“But I couldn’t do it,” she admitted.
He announced that the next election will be held on October 14 and till then he will continue to exercise his mandate as Vice Chancellor.
Recent opinion polls favor a centre-right coalition for this election, to the detriment of Labour. But Ms. Ardern has promised that this is not the reason for her resignation.
“I’m not leaving because I believe we can’t win the next election, but I believe we can and we will,” he said.
He said his resignation would take effect after February 7 and the labor committee would vote on a new leader in three days.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson, Ms. He immediately announced that he would not be running after Ardern.
The outgoing Prime Minister assured that there was no ulterior motive behind his resignation. “I am stepping down as such a prestigious position comes with great responsibility. The responsibility is to know when you are the right person to lead and when you are not,” he said.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese praised Ms Ardern as a government leader who had “shown the world how to lead with intelligence and strength”.