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UPI: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces sudden resignation

19-1-2023 |

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation during her party's annual retreat on Wednesday.

Ardern, who is entering her sixth year as prime minister, said her decision came after reflection she had done over the summer.

Ardern told the caucus she does not have "enough left in the tank" to do the position of prime minister "justice," the Summer Newsroom reported.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Photo: AP

In an address posted on her Facebook page, the outgoing prime minister said she will step down from her role no later than Feb. 7.

"I am entering now my sixth year in office. And for each of those years, I have given my absolute all," Ardern posted.

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

"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."

She also announced that New Zealand's general election will take place on Oct. 14.

The Labour Party has seven days to determine if a candidate has at least two-thirds of the caucus' support to become the next leader. Ardern said the caucus will hold a vote on Sunday.

The 42-year-old political leader joined the Labour Party when she was 18, according to her biography. She has been an adviser, a member of parliament and the leader of the Labour Party.

When she was elected prime minister in 2017, she was the youngest female to ever serve as the head of a government in the world, The Guardian reported.

"For my part, I want to finish with a simple thank you to New Zealanders for giving me this opportunity to serve, and to take on what has and will always be the greatest role in my life," Ardern said on Facebook.

"I hope in return I leave behind a belief that you can be kind, but strong. Empathetic, but decisive. Optimistic, but focused."

Source: UPI