Jacinda Ardern Resigns As Prime Minister Of New Zealand

"I no longer have enough in the tank to do [the job] justice," an emotional Jacinda Ardern said.

Cover image via Reuters

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Today, 19 January, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced, in an unprecedented move, that she is stepping down

During a televised statement, a visibly emotional Ardern said that while she had hoped to find a way to prepare for another term, she will not be seeking re-election and will step down no later than 7 February.

A general election would be held on 14 October, she added.

Ardern, at the age of 37, became the youngest female head of government in the world when she was elected prime minister in 2017. She rose to worldwide fame following her leadership through the Christchurch mosque shootings, and her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

According to Ardern, the decision to step down is her own and she "no longer has enough in the tank to do [the job] justice"

"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," Arden choked up as she detailed how six "challenging" years in the job had taken a toll.

"I know what this job takes. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do [the job] justice. It's that simple. I am human, politicians are human. We give all that we can for as long as we can. And then it's time. And for me, it's time," she said while asking New Zealanders to remember her leadership "as someone who always tried to be kind".

Watch her statement here:

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