She said she did not have "enough energy" to continue governing

Fighting back her tears, the New Zealand Prime Minister suddenly announces her resignation

Jacinda Erdern is one of the youngest female heads of government in the world.


Yesterday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern surprised her country by announcing that she would resign from office next month, stressing that she did not have "enough energy" to continue ruling after five and a half years in power, nine months before the legislative elections.

"I am a human being," Erdern told members of her Labor Party.

We give everything we can for as long as we can, and then it's time.

For me, the time has come.

"I do not have enough energy for another four years," she added, noting that she will leave office on February 7.

She announced, while fighting back her tears in front of reporters in the city of Napier, that she would not run in the general elections scheduled for this year.

Ardern thanked New Zealanders for the tremendous privilege of leading the country over the past five and a half years.

Ardern, 42, headed a coalition government in 2017 before leading her party to a landslide victory in elections three years later.

During her reign, she faced the “Covid-19” epidemic crisis and a bloody volcanic eruption, and the worst attack the country had ever witnessed was the Christchurch massacre in 2019, which killed 51 people in a mosque at the hands of an Australian who belongs to a group that believes in white supremacy.

Ardern is hugely popular abroad and has appeared on the covers of "Vogue" and "Time" magazines, and she has long enjoyed a record approval rating in New Zealand.

However, the popularity of her party and her personal popularity in opinion polls has declined recently, at a time when the economic situation was deteriorating and the right-wing opposition was regaining strength.

"Now is the time," said Esther Hedges, a resident of Cambridge in New Zealand's North Island, yesterday.

Food prices have gone up sharply.”

On the other hand, Christina Sayre, 38, believes that Ardern is "the best prime minister of the country ever."

And she continued, “I love people of her kind, and she cares about people.

I'm sorry to see her leave."

And last month, Erdern's tension appeared clear when she described, without noticing that the radio was on, an official from the opposition as an "arrogant fool."

And in her first public appearance since the summer parliamentary recess a month ago, Ardern revealed during an informal annual conference of the Labor Party yesterday that she had hoped during that rest period to find the energy to continue her leadership of the country, "but I was unable to do so."

She pointed out that the next elections will be held on October 14, and she will retain her parliamentary position until then.

Recent opinion polls show that a centre-right coalition is outperforming the Labor Party in these elections.

But Erdern insisted that this was not the reason for her resignation.

"I am not resigning because I think we will not be able to win the next election, but rather because I am sure we can and will," she said.

Ardern indicated that her resignation will take effect no later than the seventh of February, adding that the Labor Party will elect a new leader on January 22.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said he would not run for party leader.

The Prime Minister confirmed that there was no secret reason for her resignation.

"I am leaving because with such a privileged job there is a great responsibility," she said.

The responsibility of knowing when you are the right person to lead – and also when you are not.”

In 2018, Ardern became the second female prime minister in the world to give birth to a child during her tenure, after Pakistani Benazir Bhutto in 1990, and became a global symbol for women in leadership.

She said she can't wait to spend more time with her daughter Nevi, who is due to start school later this year, and marry her partner, TV star Clark Gayford. 

They said of her: “She showed the world sympathetic leadership with intelligence and strength.”

 ■ Translated by: Awad Khairi, for the "Guardian"/ Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, praised his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, saying that her leadership had made a "big" difference on the world stage.

He was one of a number of leaders and public figures who expressed their admiration for Ardern, who shocked the world by announcing that she was stepping down from the high post.

"Thank you for your partnership and friendship, and for your sympathetic, strong, and steadfast leadership over the past several years," Trudeau said in a tweet.

For his part, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese praised Ardern, saying that she is the head of a government that “showed the world how to lead smartly and with strength.”

"She has demonstrated that empathy and insight are powerful leadership qualities," he added.

American journalist and former first lady of California, Maria Shriver, described Erdern as an "inspirational leader."

New Zealand actor Sam Neill described Ardern in a tweet on Twitter as a "great leader".

"I'm not surprised and I don't blame her for what she did, but the last few months she has been treated disgracefully and embarrassed by bullies, misogynists, she deserved so much better than that," he said.

New Zealand's national opposition leader, Christopher Luxon, said Ardern "has made a huge contribution to New Zealand, in a challenging and demanding job," describing her as "a strong ambassador for New Zealand on the world stage."

The leader of New Zealand's liberal right-wing ACT party said Ardern was "a well-intentioned person", but claimed that "her idealism collided sharply with reality".

Her term as prime minister will end no later than February 7, but she will continue as a member of parliament until elections later this year. 

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