BREAKING: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern announces that she will be resigning from office

Image credit: ABC News, SCMP

In a shocking revelation, the world’s youngest-ever female head of government, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, has announced that she will be resigning from her position next month ahead of the country’s general elections this year. Speaking during a press conference, she said that she will stand aside for a new leader to be sworn in as she no longer had the energy left to contest for a re-election in October, reports CNN.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces shock resignation 

Addressing fellow members of the Labour Party which she represents, the emotionally wrought 42-year-old could be seen fighting back tears as she confirms that her tenure will come to an end no later than on February 7th, 2023. A new Labour Prime Minister is expected to be sworn in by then to take her stead, but she notes that the process could begin sooner.

A vote is expected to be called from within the country’s Labour Party by January 22nd, 2023. Clarifying that the decision to resign was her own to make, she goes on to explain that she no longer had the capacity left to shoulder the responsibilities that came with her office.

“Leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also the most challenging. You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges.”

“I no longer have enough in the tank to [the job] justice,” she said.

Had previously contemplated on her decision back in 2022

Back in 2022, Jacinda had taken a moment’s respite from her duties as Prime Minister over the summer to reflect on whether she could still afford to undertake her duties and eventually came to the conclusion that she could not, reports The Guardian.

“This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life. But it’s also had its challenges – amongst an agenda focused on housing, child poverty and climate change, we encountered a … domestic terror event, a major natural disaster, a global pandemic, and an economic crisis,” she said.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a shock resignation. Image credit: ABC News
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a shock resignation. Image credit: ABC News

Underscoring the fact that she was not leaving her position due to the challenges she faced, Jacinda points to how her administration has weathered all manner of challenges, including the global Covid-19 pandemic as well as the Christchurch terrorist attack.

“I am not leaving because it was hard. If that was the case, I probably would have departed two months in the job,” she said,

What’s more, she hopes that New Zealanders will come to remember her premiership as one of kindness.

Elected into office back in 2017 at the age of 37, Jacinda became New Zealand’s third female Prime Minister and among one of the youngest heads of government globally. Known for her quiet empathy, Arden has received much praise internationally for her leadership and was re-elected for a second term back in 2020.

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Also read: UK PM Liz Truss has resigned, making her the shortest serving post-War Prime Minister in the country’s history

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