Jacinda Ardern after retirement: "Slept well for the first time in a long time"

Jacinda Ardern after retirement: "Slept well for the first time in a long time"

Jacinda Ardern is stepping down as Prime Minister of New Zealand. “I’m sad, but I’m also relieved,” she says of her decision.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she is relieved by her decision to step down in the coming weeks. “I slept well last night for the first time in a long time,” the 42-year-old told reporters at Napier Airport on Friday. On Thursday, Labor politician tearfully announced that she wanted to step down as prime minister by February 7.

“Of course, I’m still going through a lot of emotions. I’m sad, but I also feel relieved,” Ardern said with a smile the next day. She was particularly touched by the many thank you messages she has received since then.

Ardern brought his country through several crises

Ardern said on Thursday that she did not have the strength to continue as prime minister. “I know what it takes for this job and I know I don’t have enough in the tank. It’s as simple as that.” Ardern, who became head of government in 2017 and was confirmed in office in the 2020 parliamentary elections, has had to overcome several serious crises in recent years.

His handling of the bloody attacks in Christchurch, in which a right-wing extremist shot 51 Muslims at two mosques in 2019, has earned him much recognition abroad. In December 2019, more than 20 people died in a volcanic eruption on White Island, and Corona struck a few months later.

Ardern became a mother in 2018 and wants to spend more time with her family in the future. A new leader of the Labor Party will be elected on Sunday. His possible successor is Chris Hipkins, who was Minister for Pandemic Containment during the Corona crisis. The next general election will take place on October 14th.

(APA/dpa)