On the morning of January 19, 2023 came the surprise resignation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. This was unexpected news given that Ardern retains the support of voters and the ruling majority very firmly.
In fact, behind the sudden resignation, there is not a political motivation but a personal one. Apparently, the former premier feels “crushed” by the enormous responsibility of the role.
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Jacinda Ardern, the surprise resignation. Who will take her place?
“I am resigning because this role of great privilege comes with responsibility. The responsibility of knowing when you are the right person to lead, and when you are not.”
With these words, the New Zealand premier announced her resignation, now final, at a press conference, adding:
“I know what this job requires and I know that I no longer have enough energy to do it justice.”
A sudden about-face that comes just months before the next election to be held on October 14, 2023.
Arden also announced that she does not intend to run again, hinting at a “farewell” to the world of institutions. Her term will officially end next February 7.
Life and political career of former New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern
Ardern is 42 years old and has a lifetime marked by a passion for politics. Elected as Prime Minister of New Zealand at age 37, she was considered one of the world’s youngest premiers.
During her term, which has almost come to an end, she overcame the Covid-19 pandemic and the crisis triggered by the Christchurch massacre, the worst mass murder in the country’s history. Jacinda Ardern is also known to have been the second world female leader to become pregnant while in office.
There is currently a question of who will be her successor until the next election, as Deputy Minister Grant Robertson has said he will not take over the role.
Shakeup in the New Zealand Labour Party
The announcement caused a shakeup among Labours. Ardern made her resignation known while she was at the party’s caucus retreat in Napier.
“They were surprised, but they understood me,” explained the premier, “If I don’t have what it takes, I have to let someone else take over the job.”
Next Sunday the Labour Party will proceed with a vote to elect a new leader and a new prime ministerial candidate. “I’m not leaving because I believe we cannot win the election, but because I believe we can and we will,” the resigning premier added.