Jacinda Ardern resigns as New Zealand Prime Minister

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stepped down as New Zealand’s leader on Thursday and said she would not run in this year’s general election.

Holding back tears, Ardern told reporters in Napier that Feb. 7 would be her last day in office.

“I’m entering my sixth year in office, and during that time, I’ve given my all,” she said.

Ardern described her job as one of her most privileged and rewarding, and said that doing so requires being prepared to face the unexpected. She said she was not ready to face her next term.

She said her time at the office was productive but challenging. I’m leaving because with such a privileged role comes a responsibility: I have a responsibility to know if I’m the right person to lead or if I’m not. I know I need it and I know there isn’t enough left in the tank to justify it.

Ardern faced a tough election campaign this year. Her liberal Labor Party was re-elected in a landslide two years before her by historic proportions, but recent polls show her party trailing its conservative rivals.

She was lauded globally for her country’s first response to the coronavirus pandemic after New Zealand contained the virus at its borders for months. challenged by the species and abandoned once a vaccine became available.

She faced harsher criticism at home that her strategy was too strict.

Prime Minister Ardern announced in December that a Royal Commission of Inquiry would investigate whether the government made the right decisions in the fight against COVID-19 and how it could prepare for future pandemics. That report is due next year. Jacinda Ardern resigns as New Zealand Prime Minister

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