New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern To Step Down

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation in a shock political move on Thursday (local time). 

What Happened: Ardern, who became the world’s youngest female head of government at 37 in 2017, said at a party meeting on Thursday that she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job, reported The Guardian.

Ardern said she’s leaving because “such a privileged role comes responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not. I know what this job takes,” according to the report.

Why It Matters: Ardern’s term as prime minister will not extend beyond Feb. 7, The Guardian reported. She steered the country through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Christchurch mosque attacks and even a volcanic eruption.

New Zealand will hold elections this year on Oct. 14. Polls indicate Arden’s Labour party lags behind the opposition National party, according to the report.

Ardern said, “I’m not leaving because I believe we can’t win the election, but because I believe we can and will, and we need a fresh set of shoulders for that challenge,” as per the report.

There is no clarity yet on who will replace Ardern but the Labour Caucus reportedly has seven days to establish if the new candidate has two-thirds support to emerge as Prime Minister.

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