New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said she is resigning, in an unexpected announcement that came as she confirmed a national election for October.
At the party’s first caucus meeting of the year on Thursday, Ardern said she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job. “It’s time,” she added.
“I’m leaving, because with 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. And I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple,” she said. Her term as prime minister will conclude no later than 7 February but she will continue as an MP until the election this year.
“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.
Ardern said she had reflected over the summer break on whether she had the energy to continue in the role, and had concluded she did not. Ardern became the world’s youngest female head of government when she was elected prime minister in 2017 at 37.
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