Jacinda Ardern Steps Down as New Zealand Prime Minister on Election Year

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she will not be seeking re-election and will stand down as Labour Leader next month on February 7th.

The 42-year-old was teary during the announcement this afternoon, and said almost six “challenging” years in the job had taken a toll.

Ardern said there was no “real reason” why she wanted to resign, stating only that she was human.

“This summer, I had hoped to find a way to prepare for not just another year, but another term, because that is what this year requires. I have not been able to do that..

“So today I’m announcing that I will not be seeking re-election and my term as Prime Minister will conclude no later than the 7th of February..

“I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have but also one of the more challenging. You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges..

“To Neve, mum is looking forward to being there when you start school next year. To Clarke, let’s finally get married,” stated the outgoing Labour Leader and New Zealand Prime Minister.

The NZ General Election has been announced for 14 October 2023, and Ardern will stay on as an electorate MP until the end of April to spare the country a by-election.

In New Zealand, by-elections are not triggered if a vacancy occurs within six months of the end of Parliament’s three-year term.

Ardern said Labour had “achieved a lot” and she still believed her party could win the next election.

The Labour caucus will hold a leadership vote on the 22nd of January and if a leader is elected, Ardern would issue her resignation and an new Prime Minister would be sworn in.