On Thursday 19 January 2023, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her time to pack up and this has surprised the country’s political landscape. While addressing her party’s annual caucus in the town of Napier, 42-year-old Ardern argued.
“For me it’s time,” she said at a meeting of members of her Labour Party. “I just don’t have enough in the tank for another four years.”
“I’m leaving, because with such a privileged role comes responsibility,” Ardern told her audience. “The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.”
It Should be remembered that Ardern became the world’s youngest female leader in 2017 at the age of 37.
She led her centre-left Labour Party to a victory in an election three years later and has seen her party and personal celebrity use star in recent polls.
However, she called for the next general election to be held on Saturday, October 14 as she would go on as an electorate MP until then.
“I am not leaving, because I believe we cannot win the next election, but because I believe we can and will.”
Ardern confirmed that by February 7 2023, she would definitely be out of office claiming that by 22 January 2023, the Labour caucus would vote on a new leader.
Of late, in New Zealand, things haven’t been moving on well for Ardern. Her popularity took a peak in 2022, as New Zealanders criticized her handling of the economy amidst tough COVID restrictions plus the escalating inflation.
Recent polling ahead of the election indicates Ardern’s Labour Party is slightly behind the opposing New Zealand National Party and that’s why analysts expect the election to be a hard-battle.