New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern surprisingly announced her resignation. The 42-year-old said at a Labor party event on Thursday that she wants to leave office by February 7 at the latest. Ardern gave the reason that she felt that she no longer had enough strength for more years in her office. "I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job you can have - but also one of the most challenging," said Ardern. Nobody should hold such an office "if they don't have a full tank - and a little reserve for the unexpected challenges".
You no longer have this yourself, said Ardern. "I'm human. We give as much as we can. And as long as we can." But then it's time to go. "It's time for me," added the Prime Minister. "I just don't have enough in the tank for another four years," added Ardern.
The head of government was obviously referring to the scheduled parliamentary elections in the fall and the subsequent legislative period. The elections are scheduled to take place on October 14, as Ardern announced. She herself wants to remain a member of parliament until then.
Ardern was elected Prime Minister in 2017. She was confirmed in this office in the parliamentary elections in October 2020, and achieved a historic election victory. In all her years in government, the charismatic politician made a name for herself, above all with her sensitive crisis management. In December 2019, more than 20 people died in a volcanic eruption on White Island, and Corona struck a few months later. New Zealand's way through the corona pandemic has been internationally praised. Ardern also received a lot of recognition for her reaction to the terrorist attack in March 2019 on two mosques in Christchurch that killed 51 people. At the time, she gave a moving speech and wore a headscarf to show her solidarity with the Muslim community around the world.
Watch the video: Little daughter interrupts live stream of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The New Zealander, who is also respected abroad as a pioneer of progressive politics, adorned the covers of British "Vogue" and "Time" magazine, among others. She was only the second head of government in the world to give birth to a child during her tenure - after Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan in 1990. She's looking forward to spending more time with her daughter, Ardern said in her retirement announcement. And she finally wants to marry her life partner. Ardern resolutely rejected speculation that her resignation was related to the recent fall in poll numbers for her and her party. "I'm not going because I don't think we can't win the next elections - but because I believe we can and will," she said. In a government office, you also have "the responsibility of knowing when you are the right leader - and when not."